As directors of the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry (AESGP), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), and the European Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (EGA), respectively, we are committed to providing safe, efficient and high-quality medicines without releasing harmful components into the environment (see Nature 526, 164; 2015).

Effluents from drug manufacturing account for just 2% of the pharmaceuticals found in the environment in Europe (see because they are managed effectively (D. J. Caldwell et al. Environ. Toxicol. Chem.; 2015). The industry has started to control drug pollution from other sources in response to legislation that governs all aspects of pharmaceutical operations. Monitoring continues even after medicines are on the market.

This is complemented by such initiatives as our Eco-Pharmaco-Stewardship framework, a holistic environmental risk-management programme. We also run a joint medicines-disposal campaign on social media ( And the iPIE project of the Innovative Medicines Initiative uses targeted assessment to identify the environmental risks of active drug contaminants.