Planetary Health Education in Prescribing


This international project aims to enable the integration of planetary health and sustainability in pharmacotherapy education and treatment choices. The project therefore addresses the worldwide priority of fighting against climate change, with concrete and impactful contributions to reducing the environmental impact of medicines. We want to create new, innovative and joint teaching methods, materials and approaches to educate (future) prescribers about sustainable prescribing practices.

The project is of added value because many initiatives are already being carried out to reduce environmental pollution, medication overconsumption and medication waste, but no initiative yet exists that focusses on sustainable prescribing behavior and individual choices of (future) prescribers to select more eco-friendly therapies, based on the total environmental impact of each medicine. This will be the first project that will build a fundament for planetary health education in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT). It stimulates the implementation, and provides the first content for integrating planetary health in prescribing choices of medication. In other words, this project goes beyond raising only awareness, it also provides concrete tools and aims to deploy (future) prescribes as ‘change agents’ in sustainable prescribing.

Within the project, we will:

  • Reach expert consensus on all essential information that determines the total environmental harm of a medicine and provide directives towards weighing this information. With this consensus, teachers and healthcare providers, but also policymakers and pharmaceutical companies, know what should be taken into account to check a medicine’s environmental impact. This will be a starting point to be able to truly compare medicines;
  • Create an overview on what information from this consensus is freely available and what information should be additionally shared;
  • Develop and implement educational formats, materials, programs and teach the teacher courses on how to integrate planetary health in CPT education.

Main results of this project will be:

  • A framework with criteria for all information that is essential to determine the total environmental impact of a medicine, as a fundament for the first decision aid towards making sustainable medication choices;
  • An overview of which information is available about medicines and their environmental impact;
  • A scientific letter towards pharmaceutical companies and policymakers about what information should be shared;
  • An openly available educational format and educational materials and programs on planetary health and sustainable prescribing;
  • A Teach the Teacher module for implementing the abovementioned results in CPT education.