Published 2018-06-26

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Knowledge centre for medicines in wastewater

The Government wants to find out more about the environmental effects of drugs. The Medical Products Agency has therefore been tasked with setting up a knowledge centre, with an annual block grant of SEK 5 million for its work from 2018.

The Swedish Government’s announced commitment to a knowledge centre for pharmaceutical drugs in the environment is a clear result of MistraPharma’s progress in surveying drug residues in, and removing them from, wastewater.

‘Medicines are an important part of modern healthcare. But when drugs enter the environment they cause problems, for animals and humans alike,’ says Annika Strandhäll, Minister for Health and Social Affairs.

The knowledge centre for medicinal drugs in the environment will help to assemble Swedish stakeholders and provide a platform for dialogue and cooperation. Making environmental considerations more influential in EU pharmaceutical legislation and in other international forums will be another starting point for the centre.

‘We expect the new knowledge centre at the Swedish Medical Products Agency to draw further attention to facts about dispersion and effects of drugs in the environment. The aim is for the work to help boost environmental awareness associated with drugs in both Sweden and the EU,’ Strandhäll says.

Funding plans for a knowledge centre were presented in the Budget Bill for 2018, and it is now clear that it will be established at the Medical Products Agency in Uppsala. From 2018, SEK 5 million annually is to be allocated for the work. The Agency’s first task will be to develop a long-term operational plan for the period from 2019 to 2023.

Text: Per Westergård