The Lancet Planetary Health communication “First, do no harm: time for a systems approach to address the problem of health-care-derived pharmaceutical pollution” includes co-authors from the One Health Breakthrough Partnership: Sharon Pfleger (NHS Highland), and Stuart Gibb and Lydia Niemi (Environmental Research Institute – University of the Highlands and Islands).
The article highlights the need for a system-wide approach involving all stages of the pharmaceutical life cycle, in order to develop sustainable and realistic solutions to pharmaceutical pollution in the environment. There is a call for cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaboration, with resources and funding to engage and support the major stakeholder groups in jointly discussing, researching, prioritising, and adopting system-wide approaches.
The OHBP is features as a successful model of such a multiagency systems approach, pioneering work in the One Health field in Scotland to address pharmaceutical pollution.
The article was led by researchers at the University of Exeter, following engagement through stakeholder workshops assessing the issue of pharmaceutical pollution. Additional co-authors include stakeholders and researchers from industry, government organisations, universities and institutions including: the Environment Agency, AstraZeneca, University of Plymouth, University College Dublin, Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water, and Waste, Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, Cornwall Council, Royal Cornish Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS Cornwall, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, and more.
The OHBP are very supportive of this work. And are looking at how to continue this collaboration to increase the the partnership’s impact and visibility, while also driving activity to address this issue in the UK.