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CARe’s ethics researchers argue rich countries should use healthcare to act against global industrial antibiotic pollution.

In the article "What High-Income States Should Do to Address Industrial Antibiotic Pollution”, published in the peer reviewed journal Public Health Ethics, CARe researchers Erik Malmqvist and Christian Munthe build on the strong body of research in CARe on the importance of pollution of the environment with antibiotic residue at pharmacological production plants, and charting of policy pathways for different actors to act against this part of the antibiotic resistance threat.

Key actors in this respect are rich countries, since these are in the best position to influence industry behavior by having healthcare policies related to review and procurement of drugs include environmental sustainability criteria. At the same time, all such actions lead to conflicts with central values and goals within such systems. The article analyses these conflicts, and how they may be managed while still acting against industrial antibiotic pollution, and conclude that the strong reason for action holds also in the face of these conflicts. At the same time, designing the exact policy measures require delicate ethical judgement regarding the the role and importance of sustainable healthcare systems in relation to other aims in health policy.

 

The article is open access and can be read and downloaded here: https://academic.oup.com/phe/advance-article/doi/10.1093/phe/phaa020/5900376