Pharmacy graduate, Ellie Self, has published an article about green pharmacy in The Pharmaceutical Journal
Universities must teach future pharmacists about protecting the environment
Educating pharmacy students on how to work sustainably in their future careers will increase awareness of climate change and allow for effective mitigation strategies in the profession.
Our planet is unequivocally in climate and ecological crisis, and healthcare is a major contributor.
According to an article published in the Lancet in 2020, healthcare accounts for 1–5% of total global environmental impacts and more than 5% of national environmental impacts in some countries. In England, medicines account for a staggering 25% of NHS emissions.
As a future pharmacist, at the start of my foundation training, I am learning every day about the impacts of pharmacy on the environment — mainly, through educating myself on climate science and the impacts on health provision, following national work by the Greener NHS programme and learning from likeminded colleagues sharing their ideas and innovations in their roles.
I will endeavour to work as sustainably as I can: reducing waste or recycling wherever possible, cycling to work and advocating for the most sustainable practice within my hospital trust, such as the prescribing of more environmentally friendly inhalers.
However, there is only so much an individual can do. What is needed is systemic change and it is needed quickly. I am concerned that our profession is not ready for the change that this demands.
You only have to read Tracy Lyons’s recent piece published in The Pharmaceutical Journal to realise that we have a long way to go as a profession if we are to even start tackling this crisis.
Read the full article here >
Posted on Thursday 16th September 2021