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Challenging restrictions of pharmaceuticals on environmental grounds

Health & Wellbeing, Manufacturing Industries
Government Relations, Public Affairs
Areas of interest
Environment, Pharmaceuticals, Water Framework Directive, Product Defense


Cambre implemented a successful product defense campaign on behalf of a multinational pharmaceuticals company.


For the 2013 revision of the Priority Substances List (PSL) under the Water Framework Directive, the Commission proposed, for the first time, the inclusion of pharmaceuticals.

Cambre worked closely with a pharmaceutical company to develop a targeted outreach strategy to communicate the case against including pharmaceuticals on the list. The arguments were based on research results which demonstrated that the concentration levels and environmental impact were lower than usually required for inclusion in the PSL. In addition, Cambre successfully supported the company in engaging with the European institutions to build understanding of the medical and societal value of being able to access medicines that would be negatively affected if pharmaceutical products were added to the list.

The pharmaceutical substances were removed from the PSL and were instead added to a ‘watch list’ of potentially hazardous substances subject to monitoring.

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