Medicines in the environment
The environmental impact of medicines is increasingly being highlighted. Medicines prescribed, bought over-the-counter, administered in hospitals or used in agriculture are spread in nature in unchanged form or as metabolites, where they affect our ecosystems. There is a great need for increased knowledge and the concepts of "pharmacoenvironmentology" and "ecopharmaceuticals" have been introduced for research on how to analyse and prevent the negative effects of medicines on the environment. We have also introduced an elective course that focus on the impact of drugs in the environment. Our research focuses on how to analyze drug use in relation to environmental risk and develop different strategies to reduce the environmental impact of medicines. Within the framework of an ongoing PhD project, we study the following research questions:
I. How can data on prescribing and sales of pharmaceuticals be analysed and presented in relation to the potential environmental risks?
II. How do doctors and veterinarians assess the environmental impact of medicines associated with prescribing?
III. What thoughts and experiences do pharmacists have when it comes to taking greater responsibility for the environmental impact of medicines?
IV. Have national and regional policy decisions to reduce the environmental impact of medicines had an effect on drug use and thus concentrations of medicines in water supplies?