Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine

Pharmaceutical household waste from expired or unused medicine does not only offer zero therapeutic benefit, but also contributes to environmental pollution when disposed of improperly.
Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine

Medicines discarded in sinks and flushed down toilets enter sewage waters and, if not filtered out, leak into aquatic systems. Disposal of unused and expired medicines via solid household waste can also result in pharmaceutical residues entering the environment if this waste is illegally dumped or destined for landfills. In addition to environmental risks, unused or expired medicines not only present a possible public health risk of accidental or intentional misuse and poisoning, but also constitute wasted healthcare resources.

Where do OECD countries stand on consumption and disposal of pharmaceuticals? What is the role for policy makers, and how can collection schemes help to prevent, collect and treat unused and expired medicines to protect human health and our environment?

Join us on 10 May 2022, 15:00-16:00 CEST for a Green Talks LIVE webinar to explore these questions and more during the launch of the OECD report Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine. This report provides an overview of available data on pharmaceutical consumption and disposal practices across OECD countries, reviews existing collection schemes and provides recommendations to avoid leakage into the environment.

The webinar will include a presentation of the key findings and discussion with experts.

  • Moderation: Shardul Agrawala, Head of the Environment and Economic Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate
  • Presentation of report: Frithjof Laubinger, Environmental Economist, OECD Environment Directorate
  • Panellists:
    • Terri Drover, Director General, Health Products Stewardship Association Canada
    • Lisa Stern Ödmark, Chief Strategist, Swedish Pharmacy Association
  • Discussion/Q&A, with Peter Borkey, Circular Economy Lead, OECD Environment Directorate

Duration: 1 hour

This webinar will take place via Zoom and advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you do not receive this email or for more information, please contact ENV.events@oecd.org.

This is an open event—please feel free to share this invitation with your external networks.

Join us on 10 May 2022, 15:00-16:00 CEST for a Green Talks LIVE webinar to launch the OECD report Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine!




Find out more about the ENV Green Talks LIVE series and watch video recordings of past webinars

Read more about OECD work on the circular economy

Read more about OECD work on the circular economy