Vewin stresses importance of pan-European approach to pharmaceuticals in water

Back 22 januari 2018

Vewin stresses importance of pan-European approach to pharmaceuticals in water

Vewin has issued a response to the European Commission's "Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment", stressing the importance of transnational action. 

One objective of the strategy is to protect sources of (drinking) water against contamination with pharmaceutical products. The Commission favours a chain approach in which action can be taken at all stages, from the development and market authorization of new drugs to extra purification and treatment. 

Vewin endorses a pan-European strategy because a significant proportion of pharmaceutical contamination in Dutch water actually derives from emissions in other countries. In addition, Vewin acknowledges the importance of regulatory measures to reduce contamination, such as resolving shortcomings in the Environmental Risk Assessment procedure conducted prior to the authorization of any new pharmaceutical product. 

The European Commission has proposed measures that provide for additional purification of (drinking) water. Vewin has called for priority to be given to treatment plants that will have the greatest impact, being located closest to the intake points of the mains water supply. 

The Commission also requested information about existing measures, whereby Vewin drew attention to the 'Chain Approach to Drug Residues in Water', adopted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, under which Vewin and its various partners work together to prevent pharmaceutical products entering drinking water sources. 

Further to the responses to the proposed strategy, the European Commission is expected to issue a non-legislative Communication later this year. This will pave the way for new legislation that may follow in the years ahead.

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