Walgreens Joins Sustainable Medicines Partnership

Published on: 05 October 2022
by KnowESG
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Walgreens announced it is joining the Sustainable Medicines Partnership (SMP) as a founding sponsor. The SMP intends to collaborate and execute projects to make medicine use more sustainable and less wasteful.

The SMP is a four-year commitment to offer evidence-based, integrated initiatives, including scalable solutions, frameworks, standards, metrics, and implementation toolkits, through multi-stakeholder worldwide collaboration with industry leaders such as Walgreens. 

Each of the integrated projects will be led under the Partnership's six sustainable medicines pillars, which include measurable impacts, end-to-end visibility, improved shelf life, digital by default, every dose use, and sustainable packaging.

Rick Gates, senior vice president, pharmacy and healthcare, Walgreens, said: 

"Walgreens is committed to the safe disposal of medications, and we are proud to advance those efforts through this initiative. As a founding member of the Sustainable Medicines Partnership, we can explore ways together to provide more equitable access to medicines, reduce the environmental impact from packaging and further programmes to decrease waste from medications.”

Walgreens will serve on the SMP steering committee as an industry leader, endorsing measurable outcomes and impacts established by the Partnership and in support of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. 

Walgreens will collaborate with various other industries and organisations, including pharmaceutical producers, hospitals, policymakers, patient groups, academia, and other stakeholders, by joining the SMP. Member organisations will work together to determine the carbon footprint of medicines and opportunities for optimising their use to reduce waste.

The SMP collaboration builds on Walgreens' safe medication disposal initiative, which began in 2016 and has collected and disposed of more than 3 million pounds, or 1,550 tonnes, of unwanted and unneeded medication. 

Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks, which are available during regular pharmacy hours, serve to guarantee that expired or unwanted prescriptions are not accidentally or purposely misused, and they give a convenient, no-cost way to dispose of medications all year.

Source: Walgreens

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