Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

CPhA and CSHP release new climate-conscious recommendations for pharmacists

As a sector, health care accounts for nearly 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. Every test, treatment, and procedure carries an environmental impact, contributing to material waste and carbon emissions at the point of care or across the life cycle of the products used.

By eliminating or reducing practices that do not add value to patient care, there is a net benefit to the environment.

That’s why over 20 clinical specialties have collaborated to create more than 40 Choosing Wisely Canada climate-conscious recommendations. These recommendations aim to mobilize clinicians to stop or reduce low-value practices that harm the environment without compromising patient care.

Recommendations for pharmacists

CPhA and the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) collaborated on 5 joint climate-conscious recommendations for pharmacists:

  1. Don’t prescribe greenhouse gas-intensive metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) for asthma and/or COPD where an alternative inhaler with a lower carbon footprint (e.g. dry powder inhaler (DPI), soft-mist inhaler, or MDI with a low greenhouse gas potential propellant) containing medications with comparable efficacy is available, and where the patient has demonstrated adequate technique and patient preference has been considered.
  2. Don’t start or continue medications without an indication or where the risks outweigh the benefits.
  3. Don’t pour any pharmaceuticals or chemicals down sinks, toilets, drains or dispose of in the trash.
  4. Don’t print prescription or educational materials when providers and patients have access to digital communication.
  5. Don’t use disposable gloves when standard hand hygiene disinfection practices are safe and sufficient.

Check out the full list for more information about the rationale and evidence behind these new recommendations.

“CPhA was thrilled to work with CSHP on these joint recommendations for pharmacists. These are five simple and practical recommendations that both community and hospital pharmacists can undertake in their daily practices to stop or reduce actions that carry a negative environmental impact and do not improve patient care.” says Sadaf Faisal, Director of Professional Affairs, CPhA.