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Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

30 November 2017 

Yesterday the Committee of the Regions hosted the meeting of the working group “agriculture and water management” of the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. The meeting was co-chaired by MEP Michel Dantin and MEP Peter Liese and provided an extremely timely opportunity to kick start the discussions on the protection of water resources from the impact of medications. 

The European Commission launched the long awaited public consultation on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment last week. The consultation is articulated into two questionnaires, one for the general public and one for stakeholders:

1. The dedaline for the public consultation targeting citizens is 21 February 2018.

2.The targeted stakeholder consultation is available via:https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/PharmaInEnvTargetedConsultation2017 and the deadline is 21 January 2018.  

Together with the questionnaires the Commission published:

a. a background document summary - public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment

b. a background document for public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment    

c. a study report - public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment 

In the meeting Ms Bettina Doeser from the Water Unit of DG Environment made clear their intention to apply a life-cycle approach to pharmaceuticals in the future Strategy. The Strategy will be a Commission Communication and is expected to be out by late Spring 2018. 

From the Committee of the Regions Dr Winter gave the perspective of local authorities on the issue, clearing advocating for source control rather than unsustainable end-of-pipe approaches. 

For EurEau Mr Jan-Peter van der Hoek presented the views from the water services, while Mr Bengt Mattson represented the Pharmaceutical sector (EFPIA) and Dr  Adela Maghear spoke on behalf of the NGO Health Care Without harm. 

The presentations were followed by a lively debate with the over 100 participantsin the audience. 

EurEau will respond to the public consultation and give input according to the positions developed over the past three years on pharmaceuticals for human use, on veterinary pharmaceuticals and micropollutants. 

We are looking forward to this societal debate and we are really glad to hear that “this train is running and will not be stopped anymore!”.      

Carla

Water matters. EU matters. 

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