Parliament wants the EU to tackle pharmaceutical pollution
The EU must take measures towards more sensible use and disposal of pharmaceuticals to prevent risks to the environment and public health, says Parliament.
Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution with 671 votes to 15 and 10 abstentions calling for new measures to tackle pharmaceutical pollution, which causes long-term damage to ecosystems, reduces drug efficiency and increases resistance to antibiotics.
While MEPs welcome the Commission’s communication from March 2019, they regret the serious delay in presenting a strategic approach and concrete actions. They call for more careful use of medicines, the development of greener manufacturing and better waste management in the EU.
MEPs stress that pharmaceutical products both harm ecosystems and reduce their future effectiveness, e.g. by causing antibiotic resistance. Medicines can affect water bodies, as they cannot be effectively filtered by wastewater treatment plants. In spite of often-low concentrations, there is a risk that patient health can be affected in the long-term. MEPs are particularly concerned that the endocrine-disrupting properties of many medicines end up in the environment.
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