Sustainability in healthcare regulatory affairs

The environmental impact of healthcare is under more scrutiny than ever, with consumers demanding more accountability from industry and governments setting ever stricter regulations.

While healthcare products are required to have a high standard of quality and safety, it is their sustainability that is becoming an increasingly important consideration. This relates not just to the products themselves but their entire life-cycle from manufacturing, packaging and distribution right through to them becoming waste.

Current European initiatives include reducing intentionally-added microplastics in medicinal products and food supplements, and replacing hardcopy information leaflets with digital versions to reduce packaging waste. 

However, it is clear that there is much more to do and all regulatory affairs professionals, whether they work in industry or regulatory bodies, are having to face up to the multitude of considerations involved in helping healthcare to become more green.  

In the Symposium 2023 Welcome Lecture, Bengt Mattson PhD, Policy Manager at the Swedish Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (Lif), discusses the increasingly important relationship between pharmaceuticals and environmental sustainability. He also reviews the regulatory developments and industry initiatives that are currently in place, and shares some additional considerations and insights.

This lecture was previously available exclusively to Symposium 2023 delegates and is now being publicly shared to highlight the growing importance of this subject to our profession.

Our member journal, Regulatory Rapporteur, also put the spotlight on this important subject in its April 2022 issue. Read the editorial (free to access for non-members) by Birgit Roser and Stephen Dew to find out more about the challenges.