We (you, me, and all our patients) are on course for a global temperature rise which will see millions of people displaced, injured or dying through rising sea levels, starvation and disease by the end of this century. The head of the UK environment agency has warned that in approximately 20 years, (by 2035), water shortages in the UK will pose a threat to life.
The health costs are projected to be extraordinary. The NHS is the largest public sector contributor to carbon emissions (25% pre COVID) which is 5.4% of total UK emissions. Pharmacy as a department, as well as medicines and medicinal products, create waste and pollution. The COVID pandemic and the relentless consumption of PPE has escalated this issue. We must strive towards reducing waste, and ultimately pollution, in order to increase sustainability both for our patients, and for global health.
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Barry is a Principal Pharmacist in the Clinical and Protecting Health Directorate of Public Health Scotland. He has a background in a wide variety of practice including community, academia, primary care and public health. His day job is to provide professional leadership and advice to a range of stakeholders on the use of medicines in Scotland. Barry’s recently completed Masters in Public Health included a research project exploring the relationship between prescribing data and the environmental levels of pharmaceuticals at two sites in Scotland. He is passionate about the environment and also primary interventions, particularly where they have an impact on the mental health of our citizens.
Min Na Eii is an Advanced Pharmacist practitioner in Acute Medicine at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. She also works for the Integrated Urgent Care NHS 111 Pharmacist at North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. Min Na is a co-founder of the dynamic environmentally conscious group of Pharmacy professionals, “Pharmacy Declares” who are leading the agenda on calling for climate and health action, as well as leadership and education for all pharmacy professionals. She also recently published an article in the Pharmaceutical Journal to support pharmacists on how to make their workplace greener.
Sustainable Pharmacy Practice
Read our latest statement on sustainable pharmacy practice here.