Drugs in the environment - ecopharmacovigilance for better health

Monday 31 October 2011

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, LONDON, W1G 0AE

We are no longer accepting registrations for this meeting via the website. If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact Beilul Kahsai directly on 020 7290 3859.

A one day meeting organised by the Epidemiology & Public Health Section in association with the University of Verona (Italy).
This meeting is under the patronage of: the International Society of Doctors for the Environment; the International Society of Pharmacovigilance; the Reference Centre for Education and Communication within the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring (Verona, IT); the University of Verona (IT).
We would like to thank the Menarini Foundation, Firenze, Italy for supporting the meeting with an unrestricted educational grant.


Ecopharmacovigilance is an emerging issue of great interest. It can be defined as the science and activities concerning detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or other problems related to the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment which affect human and other animal species.

During the 20th century, thousands of chemicals have been introduced into the market and used in everyday life, in industry and agriculture. This was 'blindly' carried out without considering the direct and indirect consequences on human health, on animal species and on the environment. Every year an estimated 100.000 tons of antibiotics are used all over the world. Many drugs are available on the market and their number keeps growing. Today, approximately 3000 different pharmaceuticals are commonly used in Europe.

Drugs may affect a wide range of environmental organisms and are present in drinking and surface water. The presence of widely-dispersed drugs and drug metabolites in the environment poses a potential directly, and indirect, risk to humans.
The meeting will explore:
- how the nature and extent of the potential risks might be further investigated and assessed;
- how the safe disposal of medicines might be achieved - and promoted;
- how the volume of medicines finding their way into the environment might be reduced.

Some proposed solutions will be discussed, such as: increased efficiency of sewage treatment plants; better education on drug use both for prescribers and consumers; high bio-degradability of medicines in the environment; new eco-compatible ways to synthesize drugs (“green pharmaceuticals”).

This meeting will be invaluable for those wishing to learn more about this important issue or looking to raise awareness among others about the link between drugs and the environment.

Registration Details:
Consultant/GP: £140
RSM Student: £35
RSM Trainee: £55
RSM Associate: £55
RSM Fellow: £65
Student: £45
Trainee: £65
Allied Health Professional: £65

9.00 am

Registration, tea and coffee

9.30 am

Welcome address
Parveen Kumar, President of the Royal Society of Medicine

9.40 am

Introductory address
Giampaolo Velo, Director of Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Verona University, Italy

Ecopharmacovigilance -meaning
Chair: Giampaolo Velo, Verona University, Italy
and Ake Wennmalm, Sustainpharma,
Stockholm, Sweden

9.50 am

Why ecopharmacovigilance?
Giampaolo Velo, Verona University, Italy

10.10 am

Sustainable pharmacy: Why, how and the relation to ecopharmacovigilance
Klaus Kümmerer, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

10.30 am

Drug monitoring in the environment
Ettore Zuccato, Istituto Mario Negri, Milano, Italy

10.50 am

Tea and coffee break

11.10 am

Perspective of the French national plan to reduce pharmaceuticals in waters
Yves Levi, Paris-Sud 11 University, Paris, France

11.30 am

Pharmaceuticals and sustainability (in teleconference communication)
Christian G Daughton, US Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, USA

Drug industry
Chair: Allison Jeynes-Ellis, Director of Medical and Innovation, ABPI, London, UK and David Taylor, WCA Environment, London, UK

11.50 am

A drug company approach
Gisela Holm, AstraZeneca, Södertälje, Sweden

12.10 pm

Ecopharmacovigilance and the pharmacovigilance directive
Frank Mastrocco, Pfizer, New York USA

12.30 pm

The EGA perspective on pharmaceuticals in the environment
Séan Bowler, European Generic Medicines Association, Brussels, Belgium

12.50 pm


Green pharmacy
Chair: James Clark, York University, UK and Klaus Kümmerer, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

1.40 pm

Green drugs
James Clark, York University, UK

2.00 pm

Green pharmacy - actual developments and future issues
Romano Orrù, VU University of Amsterdam, NL

Chair: Ingrid Eckerman, Swedish Doctors for the
Environment, Stockholm, Sweden and Sir
Michael Rawlins, National Institute of Health
& Clinical Excellence, London, UK

2.20 pm

An emerging country perspective
Honorary Sherry Ayitey, Minister of
Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana

2.40 pm

The results of WHO's expert consultation - a question of balance
John Fawell, WHO Drinking-water Quality Committee, Geneve, Switzerland

3.00 pm

Pharmaceuticals and the environment: The European commission perspective
Peter Korytar, EU DG Environment, Brussels, Belgium

3.20 pm

The Swedish approach
Ake Wennmalm, Sustainpharma, Stockholm, Sweden

3.40 pm

Tea and coffee break

4.00 pm

European Medicines Agency role in a sustainable environment for medicinal products
Jean-Marc Vidal, EMA, London, UK

Regulatory agencies
Chair: Thomas Lonngren, Independent Strategy Advisor, UK and Charlotte Unger, Swedish Medical Products Agency, Uppsala, Sweden

4.20 pm

Sweden seeks support for including
environmental aspects of production into
Charlotte Unger, Swedish Medical Products Agency, Uppsala, Sweden

4.40 pm

Pharmaceutical authorization of HMPs and VMPs: strengthening environmental aspects
Ines Rönnefahrt, German Environmental Protection Agency, Dessau, Germany

5.00 pm

Environmental health versus public health: the impact of human medicines
Henry Stemplewski, MHRA, London, UK

5.20 pm

Completion of evaluation forms

5.25 pm

Final remarks
David Pencheon, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, Cambridge, UK

5.45 pm

Close of meeting
Giampaolo Velo, Verona University, Italy

Meeting ref: EPC01

CPD: 5 credits

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Events Co-ordinator:
Beilul Kahsai
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7290 3859
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7290 2986