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Green and white capsule pills.

Will changes in EU chemicals policy and legislation have an impact on green transformations in the EU’s pharmaceutical sector?

Funded by the Research Council of Finland, the four-year PharGTrans project examines how changes in EU chemicals policy and legislation may affect green transformations in the pharmaceutical sector in the European Union. The project is led by Senior Researcher, Docent Mirella Miettinen at the University of Eastern Finland Law School, with partners from the Universities of Eastern Finland, Helsinki, Stockholm and Aarhus representing law, pharmacy and environmental sciences.

“In order to prevent the risks of pharmaceutical pollution, a combination of source-oriented, use-oriented and end-of-pipe measures is needed. Source-oriented measures, including green design, require transformations from many actors in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as interdisciplinary efforts to support new approaches,” Miettinen says.

The project examines the cross-cutting effects of measures supporting green transformations in EU chemicals policy and legislation on the practices of pharmaceutical actors, as well as their perceptions of the depth of green transformations needed. Empirical studies on how different actors are implementing green transformations in practice are scarce. The project will conduct an interview study among various stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector: researchers, industry, interest groups, public authorities and political decision-makers.

“The project was launched in September and is already well under way with regard to the analysis of policy documents.”

On 24 October, Miettinen will attend the Uppsala Health Summit as an invited expert. The topic of the workshop is Conflicting Objectives – Using Effective Drugs Without Polluting Our Environment. A broader theme of the Uppsala Health Summit is how research-based knowledge could be better used to build “health wise” policy, and how international policy instruments and local practices could be strengthened to minimise the harmful effects of chemicals and waste.

“Open dialogue between different parties is important,” Miettinen points out.

The results of the project will inform both EU and national chemicals and pharmaceutical policy, while also supporting green transformations in practice. One of the goals is to establish a network between researchers of law, pharmacy and environmental sciences that brings together expertise from different fields and provides training for young researchers.

Funded by the Research Council of Finland, the PharGTrans project runs from 1 September 2023 to 31 August 2027.

For further information, please contact:

Senior Researcher, Academy Research Fellow Mirella Miettinen, University of Eastern Finland Law School, tel. +358 50 472 0510.

Description of the PharGTrans project