Pharmaceuticals have become chemicals of emerging concern to the public because of their potential to reach drinking water. Looking at the overall incidence of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment, patient use of medicines (prescription and over the counter) is the principal pathway. Typically, a fraction of the medicines taken by patients is excreted and enters waterways. To a lesser extent, pharmaceuticals can enter the environment through improper disposal of medicines and from manufacturing discharges.
Pfizer has an active program to assess and address the issues associated with pharmaceuticals in the environment (PIE) which includes detailed wastewater assessments to ensure good environmental management of our internal operations.
We have also teamed with a number of our manufacturing suppliers to evaluate their materials handling and production equipment cleaning processes. We continue to engage our stakeholders including industry groups, the scientific community, regulatory agencies, patient groups and nongovernmental organizations to advance the knowledge of PIE.
In particular, we aim to:
Understand the potential impacts associated with PIE.
Ensure that manufacture, use and disposal of our medicines does not adversely affect human health or the environment.
Advance the body of science associated with PIE.
Notable actions we undertake in managing pharmaceuticals in the environment include:
Recent performance achievements include: