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Public Wants Pharmaceutical Manufacturers to Disclose Carbon Footprint

A new study reveals strong public support for transparency and action on the carbon emissions of medicines.

2 Min Read
Survey results show public wants pharmaceutical transparency
Survey results show public wants pharmaceutical transparency.Image courtesy of Owaki/Kulla / The Image Bank via Getty Images

A new study by YewMaker reveals the public supports both transparency and action on the carbon emissions of medicines.

Key Findings

  • 84% of respondents want medicine manufacturers to disclose the carbon footprint of their products.

  • 84% of respondents want healthcare to actively reduce the carbon emissions of medicines and to prioritise suppliers with a lower carbon footprint, if the costs are not higher.

  • Medicines contribute about 25% of emissions within the National Health Service (NHS) in UK

The NHS has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045, making it essential to address medicine-related emissions, which account for a quarter of the NHS carbon footprint.

Looking to gauge public sentiment on medicine carbon footprints, YewMaker conducted a survey across the UK, US, Australia, and France with 1,304 respondents.

The survey revealed that a majority of people believe it is important for healthcare and medicine manufacturers and suppliers to work together to reduce carbon emissions related to medicines.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 73% of respondents consider it important for doctors to have access to carbon footprint information when prescribing medicines.

  • 53% of participants personally wish to receive information about the carbon footprint of the medicines they consume, reflecting a growing interest in making informed choices.

Yewmaker stats

Qualitative research, including one-on-one interviews, uncovered a preference among individuals for information on medicines they could buy themselves compared with medicines prescribed for them, as they felt it could empower them to make environmentally conscious decisions.

"This research demonstrates a strong public desire for the NHS and pharmaceutical companies to measure and mitigate the carbon footprint of medicines, which account for a large proportion of NHS emissions," said Nazneen Rahman, CEO at YewMaker. "YewMaker is developing MCF Classifier to provide standardised carbon footprints for thousands of medicines, equipping healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to make carbon-informed decisions about medicines."

MCF Classifier, supported by SBRI Healthcare and the Greener NHS, harnesses data science and green chemistry prediction metrics to calculate the carbon emissions per dose for more than 2,000 medicines. These emissions are categorised into four MCF Ratings, facilitating comparisons, and benchmarking. YewMaker is set to launch the MCF Formulary, a web application, in early 2024, making the MCF Ratings accessible to all.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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