Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development / Global Water Research Coalition

Pharmaceuticals: Scientific developments and cost-effective policy responses

Sunday 26 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: FH 300

While pharmaceuticals have undeniable benefits, countries struggle to address their harmful consequences on freshwater ecosystems. Some countries embark on sophisticated and costly treatment of wastewater. Others emphasise control at source.

Policy-makers need tools and instruments that contribute to effective management of pharmaceuticals, both in the chemical and water sectors. Part of the challenge is the increasing need to find cost-effective solutions and well-designed guidelines and regulations.

The session will bring new knowledge on how pharmaceuticals affect freshwater ecosystems. It will explore robust guidelines and innovative policy responses, which build on comprehensive frameworks and scientific developments, including advanced monitoring methodologies. 

The session will expand on the OECD's ongoing work on contaminants of emerging concern. It will bring in IWRA’s unique network of academics/experts as well the recent Global Compendium on Water Quality Guidelines. The Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) will reflect the expertise of academics and corporates, which deal with the issue.

The discussion will be geared towards finding options for sustainable developments.


Pharmaceuticals: Scientific developments and cost-effective policy responses

16:00 – 16:05 Introduction, Icebreaker and Moderator – Hannah Leckie, OECD

16:05 - 16:20 Keynote on AMR / One Health Concept - Marc Sprenger / Bruce Gordon, Director AMR / Coordinator of WASH, World Health Organisation

16:20 – 17:25 Panel and audience Q&A


• Bruce Gordon, Coordinator of WASH, WHO

• Marc de Rooy, Deputy Head of Unit Water Quality, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Netherlands

• Bruno Tisserand, Water Program Director, Veolia

• Bengt Mattson, Head of CSR & Environmental Affairs, Pfizer, Sweden

Quick-fire Q&A on the role of each stakeholder and sectors in tackling the challenge of pharmaceuticals in water (IGO, government, utilities, pharma industry)

Panel and audience discussion

17:25 - 17:30 Concluding remarks – Armelle Hebert, GWRC