Royal Pharmaceutical Society president professor Claire Anderson

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called on industry, pharmacy teams and governments across Great Britain to implement change to reduce the environmental impact of medicines.

To meet this aim, RPS has created a series of policies ahead of COP26 UN Climate Change Conference beginning on October 31.

It noted that medicines are the most widely deployed healthcare intervention and are responsible for 25 per cent of the NHS’s carbon emissions, making pharmacists and pharmacy teams a key player in combat against climate change.

RPS president Claire Anderson said: “The role of the pharmacist and the pharmacy team in preventing illness, optimising medicines and reducing pharmaceutical waste already reduces the impact of medicines on the climate.”

She added that pharmacists and pharmacy teams can make a difference by incorporating small changes in the way of working. “Our sustainability policy supports pharmacy teams to pave the way for change and to lead the way in climate action within healthcare.”

For this RPS has listed four areas of focus:

  • Improving prescribing and medicines use
  • Tackling medicines waste
  • Preventing ill health
  • Infrastructure and ways of working

Earlier this month, RPS signed a charter designed to guide effective and high-quality climate action by professional bodies in the UK, and released ‘Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency’ in September.

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