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The Swedish government proposes to award pharma companies with good pollution control

In the budget proposal presented on the 21st of September 2020, the Swedish government sets aside 19 MSEK for a pilot project to award drug companies that can demonstrate effective pollution control during manufacturing of their products.

The proposed premium will be part of the Swedish generic substitution and reimbursement system for prescription drugs. For a long time, only the cheapest pharmaceutical (within a group of clinically interchangeable products) has been subsidised by the state. Now, the government proposes to also reward pollution control, in line with what was proposed by “Statens Offentliga Utredningar” already in 2013.

Professor Joakim Larsson and his team of researchers were among the first to demonstrate massive pollution from drug manufacturing. In a long series of scientific studies published from 2007 and onwards, they have demonstrated environmental and human health risks, as well as practical ways forward to mitigate the problem.  Larsson comments on the initiative:

“Change takes time, but it is good to finally see some action by the government, in line with what we have proposed repeatedly for more than a decade. I hope that more countries now recognizes that it does not make sense to only reward companies that can produce drugs to the absolutely lowest price, while paying no attention to pollution control and the risks drug pollution poses for the environment and our own health.”

Link to the budget proposition: https://www.government.se/press-releases/2020/09/budget-bill-for-2021-working-sweden-out-of-the-crisis--together/

Link to downloadable PDF-version of budget proposition (in Swedish)

Link to Larsson´s publication list: https://www.gu.se/en/biomedicine/about-us/department-of-infectious-diseases/joakim-larsson-group/publications