Position paper 24 April 2024

Our position on the Global Plastics “Instrument”

Position paper

Ahead of negotiations on a Global Plastics “Instrument”, the innovative pharmaceutical industry put together its position.

Key takeaways include:

  • IFPMA supports an overall ambitious UN Global Plastics “Instrument” that creates globally harmonized plastic regulations. This is key to securing the scale and effect needed if we are to succeed in transitioning away from plastic where it is possible to do so safely while ensuring continued access to medical and medicinal products.
  • IFPMA members are committed to driving the needed innovative change in line with the agenda for plastics, while keeping our focus on providing quality, safe and effective treatment for patients (see Annex I for examples).
  • Plastic materials and components are indispensable in every stage of the pharmaceutical lifecycle, and are crucial for medical production, quality, and safety. Currently, these cannot easily be replaced by other materials while ensuring the same levels of patient and healthcare practitioner safety.
  • The Instrument must recognize the need for targeted extended compliance periods or exceptions (when no safe or technically feasible alternative is available) for medical and medicinal products so that access to these products is maintained while the sector transitions to fulfilling the goals of the Instrument. This is absolutely key to avoid disruptions to patient access to medical and medicinal products due to bans or lack of availability of necessary plastic materials and components.
  • Ensuring that the Plastics Instrument is aligned with existing legislation where feasible will be critical for continued functioning of global supply chains that enable patient access to medicines. Globally harmonized rules will help alignment between different sectors and throughout international supply chains, will promote effective and transparent implementation of the Instrument, and will help make it easier for businesses and other stakeholders to comply.
  • IFPMA members strongly support the transition to a sustainable economy but are limited by technology and market development due to high health and safety requirements for our sector. We are committed to driving the needed changes and setting the agenda for plastics while working with global stakeholders across industries to identify practical solutions that do not compromise safety or patient access to medical and medicinal products.
  • Overall, it is essential that advancements in environmental protection in the healthcare sector go hand in hand with ensuring the highest level of patient safety and access to medical and medicinal products.

Download our position paper for more.