Free HCWH Europe webinar | Antimicrobial resistance: the environmental impact

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) develops when microorganisms (which include bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi) become resistant to antimicrobial drugs, leading to treatment becoming ineffective, infections persisting, and an increased risk of infections spreading.

Each year, antimicrobial-resistant infections lead to 25,000 deaths in the European Union, 700,000 deaths worldwide, and to annual costs of at least €1.5 billion in the EU alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes antibiotic resistance as the single greatest challenge in terms of infectious diseases today, which represents a threat for both rich and poor countries.

AMR is mostly caused by the inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals, but increasingly evidence shows that waste pharmaceuticals from excretion and disposal, including effluent from the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, is a concern in the development of resistance.

Research studies suggest that particular environments are “hot-spots” in which antimicrobial resistance can emerge, such as areas in which there are poor pharmaceutical manufacturing practices, where expired or unused drugs are disposed of in an inappropriate way (i.e. by flushing them down the toilet or sink, or disposing them in household rubbish), and areas in which pharmaceuticals are used for aquaculture or agriculture.

To date, most of the national and global actions in place to tackle the spread of AMR don’t take into account this aspect of antimicrobials released into the environment.

This webinar is co-organised by HCWH Europe and HCWH Asia, and aims to raise awareness about the issue of AMR and its environmental impact. It will enable participants to apply newly gained knowledge in their daily practice.

During this webinar you will: 

  • Learn about antibiotic pollution and waste;
  • Learn about recent findings from India regarding antibiotic discharges in rivers from manufacturers and new mechanisms by which resistance spreads in the environment;
  • Learn about sustainable antibiotics – how to support the proper and effective use of antibiotics and their responsible production;
  • Find out how the pharmaceutical industry is addressing the environmental pollution that leads to AMR, and
  • Learn about the best practices in managing infectious waste at hospital level.


  • Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Researcher, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Lucas Wiarda, Global Marketing Director & Head of Sustainable Antibiotics ProgramDSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals
  • Sister Mercilyn Jabel, Pharmacist, Saint Paul Hospital Cavite (Philippines)

Time & Date:

Thursday, November 3rd, 10am CET


1 hour