World-leading pharma companies commit to discharge limits for antibiotics

At the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York, leading pharmaceutical industries committed voluntarily to apply discharge limits for antibiotics in their manufacturing chains [

1]. The limits are derived with an intent to protect both the environment and reduce risks for selecting for antibiotic resistance. Industry has to a major extent derived their targets based on principles and discharge limits proposed by CARe researchers Bengtsson-Palme and Larsson in 2016 [2].

Joakim Larsson, director of CARe, comments the initiative:
"This is an important and very much needed initiative from industry, particularly as regulators world-wide has not yet stepped up to responsibility and applied legally binding discharge limits for antibiotics. I hope that regulation will soon follow, so that discharge limits will apply more broadly. With this initiative, I also see increased possibilities for e.g. procurers of medicines around the world to specifically ask from suppliers that discharge limits are met. Finally, I look forward to see individual companies that publicly start showing data on their actual discharge levels, thereby confirming that they are successful in implementing their intentions".

The commitment was also highlighted by the Centre for Disease Control in the USA [3].

For a documentary on antibiotic pollution from drug manufacturing [4].