The Department of Pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield is working to include environmental sustainability principles into the pharmacy degree (Mpharm) curriculum to support the cause.

It has also urged other pharmacy educators to follow suit after the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) issued a declaration of climate and ecological emergency, last month.

Playing a key role in ‘greening’ the University’s MPharm curriculum, Dr Alison Astles, subject leader in pharmacy and member of the University’s Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice Research Centre said: “Mitigating climate impact will need everyone to deliver change, and our future pharmacists have to be prepared to lead that change as part of their duty to the patient.”

Dr Alison Astles

She hopes that future pharmacists will be best placed to play their part in the fight against climate change.

She added that sustainability was already present in the University’s MPharm curriculum, it just needed refocusing through an environmental lens.

Astles said: “As part of the global effort and also particularly the NHS NetZero effort that’s topical at the moment, we have decided to map our curriculum against an environmental sustainability strand to make it explicit to students, which is something we haven’t done before.

“We feel that our undergraduates need to be as prepared as they can be on environmental sustainability because medicines are a huge contributor to environmental issues.”

Further, she urged other departments across the University and anyone with an interest to get in touch to update curriculums.

RPS president Claire Anderson said: As individual practitioners, and collectively as a profession, we must identify where we can make changes in our practice to reduce carbon emissions.”

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