The impact of pharmaceutical personal care products (PPCPs) and veterinary medicines on the environment is receiving increasing amounts of international attention. As such, the greater interest is generating an expanding body of literature on human, veterinary, and PPCPs found in the environment (soil, lakes, rivers, and streams). While only trace amounts of PPCPs have been detected, the public health implications are unknown. However, this issue is a concern because of the properties that pharmaceuticals have, such as biological activity, lipophilic nature, and resistance to biodegradation (Valagaleti, 2002). Kummerer (2004) described these properties in pharmacology and ecopharmacology terms. In addition, antibiotic resistance has been shown to favor low concentrations of antibiotics (Peterson et al., 1997; Jorgensen and Halling-Sorensen, 2000). Furthermore, deformities in the reproduction systems of marine animals have demonstrated that PPCPs in the environment are not benign (Pauli, 2002; Metcalfe, 2002). This paper will present one possible regulatory solution to arguably the largest and most dangerous component of the PPCP problem, the fate of discarded residential human pharmaceuticals. We will examine the fate of human pharmaceuticals before entering the environment, examine the prevalence of human pharmaceuticals in the environment and explore the scientific literature on the regulatory alternative that has received the most attention and traction, a take-back program. We then build upon the literature to present a theoretical approach to maximize the reduction of improperly discarded human pharmaceuticals. And, the paper concludes with a discussion and implications.
|Keywords:||Pharmaceutical Pollution, Sustainable Development, Ecological Economics|
Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York, USA
Associate Professor of Pharmacoeconomics, Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York, USA
Assistant Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies, Department of Arts and Sciences, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York, USA
Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York, USA
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