The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has joined leading health organisations from across the UK who have called on the government to increase action to protect our natural ecosystems for the benefit of the nation’s health.
The call comes on the back of a policy report published today by the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC) that outlines a cycle of events that contribute to the loss of nature, climate change, and poor health. It’s a cycle the health leaders say we need to break.
The report lays out seven areas, which the health leaders say the UK government needs to increase action to protect the land and sea, both in the UK and through its international commitments, to prevent further harm to health and loss of life caused by the loss of nature. Among them are calls to:
- Increase knowledge and understanding of human and ecological risks caused by the presence of pharmaceutical products in water bodies.
- Put an end to subsidies, investments and new exploration for fossil fuels, while ensuring a just transition to renewable energy
- Reduce plastic waste by banning the production and sale of unnecessary plastic items with simultaneous efforts to incentivise reusing, recycling, and the production and utilisation of alternate compostable materials.
Commenting on the report, Professor Claire Anderson, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said:
“By harming our natural ecosystem, we’re also harming our health. Those in power must recognise the reality of the warnings made in this report and take urgent and firm action to protect nature.
“Medicines are a crucial intervention in healthcare, we recognise the environmental impact of pharmaceutical products on the environment and our waters. We are committed to working with our colleagues for increased awareness and action in this area and all those highlighted to safeguard both human and ecological health.
“If action is not taken we are sure to be facing increases in non-communicable diseases, reduced capacity to develop new medicines and antimicrobial resistance. Together, with a united effort, we can contribute to the preservation of our natural world and the wellbeing of future generations.”