Active ingredients from medicines can get into the environment through a variety of routes, and once there they can prove harmful to wildlife and ecosystems. In the EU, new medicines are required to undergo an environmental risk assessment (ERA). However, so far just a handful of the 1900 or so active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in use have been assessed.
The aim of PREMIER is to deliver a framework for assessing and characterising the environmental risks of APIs. This framework could be used to prioritise and screen older (‘legacy’) APIs that have never been through an ERA. It could also be used to pick up potential environmental risks in new APIs that are still under development.
PREMIER also hopes its work will contribute to greener drug design in general, and help to make environmental data on APIs more visible and accessible to all stakeholders.