Last reviewed 3 October 2023

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Medicines Optimisation Team has secured funding to conduct research and support providers, local systems and businesses to drive innovation and to shape its regulatory approach to medicines sustainability.

The CQC said that, together with providers and local systems, change can be accelerated to ensure the sustainable use of medicines and decrease the environmental impact of medicines use. It has launched a short survey to support this research, and is keen to hear views from people even if they are not actively working on medicines sustainability just now. The survey is open until 30 November 2023.

Health and social care services produce around 5% of all carbon dioxide in the UK, with the largest proportion of this coming from medicines and equipment. Medicines account for 25% of the NHS’s total carbon emissions. This includes all stages in medicines use such as production, choice, prescribing and waste disposal, so this impacts every service using medicines.

The CQC’s project will deliver a suite of products to support providers, local systems and businesses to innovate and directly shape the regulatory approach to medicines sustainability.

The project is funded by the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund (RPF), which supports UK regulators and local authorities to adopt new and experimental regulatory approaches that seek to remove barriers to innovation and help businesses get their innovative products and services to market faster.