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Trends in Pharma

The Role of Medical Affairs in Promoting Environmental Sustainability: Lessons Learned

Written by Natalia Denisova, PhD VP, Head of Medical Affairs MphaR
June 14, 2024

The Role of Medical Affairs in Promoting Environmental Sustainability: Lessons Learned

Imagine a world where healthcare specialists treat and heal people and provide them with a healed planet. This has become possible since the global pharmaceutical industry established projects for environmental sustainability. The work of medical affairs teams, scientific evidence by their expertise, and the development of eco-friendly medications have played a pivotal role in promoting ecological stability. 

Objective

Medical Affairs is playing a crucial role in the green revolution by introducing the MphaR  Green Initiative. This program has brought healthcare providers, industry stakeholders, researchers, and environmental experts together to ensure the sustainability of this innovation with the best possible practices in the pharmaceutical industrial revolution. This can help a lot in forming a reliable environment on this planet with a sustainable future for everyone. This article will highlight the role of Medical Affairs in promoting environmental sustainability for the betterment of the global atmosphere.

The Urgency of Environmental Sustainability in Global Healthcare

Global Context

The pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges regarding environmental changes, climatic alterations, and degradation. The planet is continuously depleting its natural resources due to the vast rate of deforestation, biodiversity depletion, and environmental pollution. All of these challenges affect human health, along with all the other potential hazards to the natural world. The healthcare industry has also contributed a lot to the production of large amounts of waste, the consumption of natural resources, and the emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, global healthcare needs to urgently address environmental sustainability.

Global Pharmaceutical Response

The global pharmaceutical industry is currently working on promoting effective measures for the development of a sustainable environment in healthcare. To address a sustainable environment on this planet, they are focusing on adopting green initiatives by reducing waste and the consumption of eco-friendly medications. They are investing in renewable energy resources. They also promote remote work and encourage virtual meetings to develop environmental solutions

The MphaR Green initiative is the best innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, mainly because it addresses many environmental challenges currently being faced by planet Earth. This can help develop a healthier planet for future generations.

 Medical Affairs: Champions of Sustainability

Medical affairs have played a crucial role in driving positive environmental impacts along with their economic and social factors. They have been influencing sustainable policies regarding ecological challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. They have implemented the best possible practices in developing drugs and their commercialization. They have also assisted in reducing environmental impacts related to manufacturing and disposal of industrial waste. They have collaborated to implement goals and objectives to drive positive environmental change. Education and proper training are critical strategies for medical affairs in this regard.

Sustainability Mandate

As a sustainability mandate, medical affairs is working on the collaboration of science and practice with effective measures. Medical Affairs is crucial in implementing clinical trials, supply chain management, and regulatory policy with scientific evidence. Bringing professionals from all the environmental organizations and medical affairs can play a pivotal role in module sustainability initiatives, and the MphaR Green Initiative is the best example we can take in this regard.

Reducing Global Travel Through Virtual Platforms

The aviation industry has contributed significantly to the emission of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere. Carbon emissions from air travel have increased the risk of environmental depletion, which can damage the environment in the long run. Event services and hospitality also generate a lot of waste, disrupting the natural ecosystem.

Virtual Solutions

Replacing global travel with virtual platforms can help solve all travel-related problems. Pharmaceutical companies increasingly focus on establishing virtual platforms for national and international meetings and business operations. This has helped cut down on unnecessary flights, causing a positive impact on the ecosystem. It has also helped increase investment in green initiatives by reducing travel expenses. Virtual meetings have helped employees be more efficient and productive by eliminating travel time. Virtual meetings have also made the connection between clients and colleagues more accessible and convenient, regardless of location.

Sharing the Best-Case example

The MphaR virtual platform has efficiently hosted virtual meetings, including scientific events. It is an innovative digital solution for successful meetings between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers. It has also hosted global medical education programs for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for more than 1500 healthcare providers worldwide without traveling. One of the most crucial successes of the MphaR virtual platform is providing a 12-month educational course for about 150 oncologists with advanced educational activities. The platform has also provided virtual education programs for healthcare professionals on lung cancer. Successful webinars, articles, and online assessments have helped train and educate healthcare professionals. 

Benefits

Virtual meetings have successfully reduced global travel, which has been proven to be a potential benefit for reducing travel expenses. They have helped save time and money. Healthcare professionals work more efficiently and with a more productive mindset without the need for travel expenses or plans.

Enhancing global communication and collaboration

Virtual Communication Tools

Global communication tools have connected the world effectively. The advancement in technology continuously seeks ways to communicate efficiently. The invention of virtual communication tools has brought innovation and problem-solving capabilities by facilitating international cooperation. Digital communication tools, including messaging apps, emails, social media platforms, video conferencing, webinars, virtual advisory boards, and international teleconferences, have helped create effective and convenient communities across the globe. These tools assist in sharing essential documents and real-time communication, regardless of time and location. These help work together on different goals and projects. The MphaR Green Initiative is a crucial example in this regard.

Case Example of MphaR

The MphaR has efficiently used digital communication tools to educate healthcare professionals worldwide. By maintaining global collaboration, they have virtually assisted in various significant initiatives. The successful mapping of the MphaR green initiative or green planting with virtual assistance has set crucial goals for innovation in positive environmental impacts.

Challenges and Solutions

Other challenges faced during virtual communication include technology adoption and the digital divide, which is resistance to new tools and the need for access to specific technology. Other challenges healthcare professionals face are zoom fatigue, disruptive audio or videos, limited participant availability, etc. Investments in digital communication tools, training, and efficient digital mentorship can solve these challenges.

Beyond Communication: Global Sustainability Practices

Green Office Practices Worldwide

Medical affairs worldwide have developed green office practices to educate more productively. These practices have implemented replacing paper with digital documents and files. Renewable resources are being used to encourage energy-efficient practices. Waste recycling and using electric vehicles for transportation are crucial parts of green office practices.

Sustainable Product Development

Medical Affairs has played a crucial role in supporting environmentally friendly packaging, developing alternative products with fewer environmental hazards, and managing supply chains. They are continuously working with their responsible partners to create positive environmental impacts. Medical Affairs has collaborated with pharmaceutical companies from various countries across the globe to cope with sustainability issues.

Education and Advocacy

Education is the key to a better and more reliable future. Thus, medical affairs continuously work on educating stakeholders worldwide about the significance of environmental sustainability for a better future. Implementing green initiatives in industries can have positive environmental impacts and many economic benefits. The stakeholders advocate for collaboration with different ecological experts and organizations to develop sustainable products and medical operations.

Lessons from the MphaR Green Initiative

The MphaR Green initiative, a successful digital platform, is a testament to the collective effort of the pharmaceutical industry. It has effectively enabled pharmaceutical companies to work towards a sustainable environment, boosting productivity and fostering a sense of shared responsibility.

The achievements of this platform are discussed below.

●      In 2023, the MphaR Green initiative launched several scientific events through digital means. More than 70.000 key opinion leaders (KLOs) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) participated in the digital scientific events launched by the MphaR virtual platform in 2023.

●      By 2022, the MphaR Green initiative had already significantly impacted the pharmaceutical industry, with over 40 percent of key opinion leaders (KOLs) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) actively participating in various scientific events. This is a testament to the growing momentum and enthusiasm for sustainability in the pharmaceutical industry.

●      In 2023, about 7,500 plants were planted in Latin America, the USA, and Europe. Moreover, around 1435,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions were also saved.

●      In 2023, nearly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 20% of trees were planted compared to 2022.

The objectives and goals of the MphaR green initiative for 2024 and beyond include the MphaR team constantly applying a digital approach to educate and train healthcare professionals and facilitate their productive work through effective communication and collaboration.

Key Takeaways

● Collaborating with organizations and environmentalists will also prove beneficial.

●      Engage stakeholders and employees in ecological sustainability programs.

●      Set measurable goals.

●      Lastly, try to invest in sustainable practices and technologies.

●      Report monitoring progress accurately.

Impact Measurements

MphaR shares the best lessons and practices learned from the industry. To assure accuracy, MphaR regularly conducts audits and assessments. Moreover, MphaR also gives annual sustainability reports with detailed challenges and overall progress. MphaR utilizes international sustainability benchmarks and metrics.

 Conclusion

This article overlooks the role of medical affairs in pharmaceutical companies' sustainability. It also explores the positive impacts of virtual platforms, sustainability in managing products and supply chains, and the effect on the environment, such as global travel. Moreover, this article discusses the success of the MphaR Green Initiative.

Call to action

It is imperative that all global organizations swiftly adopt sustainability practices and actively promote environmental sustainability. The influence of medical affairs can be harnessed for this purpose. By collectively reducing the carbon productivity of our industries, we can pave the way for a healthier planet for future generations.

Future Outlook

The healthcare industry will keep sustainability its top priority. We look forward to the future where sustainability will influence every aspect of healthcare, even in major concerns like drug development and patient care. In doing so, medical affairs will play a significant role in driving sustainable education, advocacy, and innovation. Let us make a greener and healthier future together.

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