Save the date

Last MEDUWA-Vecht(e) Stakeholder and Partner Meeting will be held in Zwolle on 12 and 13 February 2020

4.10.2019, During this meeting we would like to look back with you on what has been achieved and what has been learned from MEDUWA with its 12 innovations for reducing medicines and multi-resistant bacteria in the water and how these can contribute to the implementation of the EU policy on medicines in the environment. That is why we have developed workshops to stimulate the exchange on the innovations for different users from the animal health sector, the public health sector and policy makers. 
In addition to these sessions, meetings will be organised on the subject:
– Climate change and water quality; 
– climate change and infection risks of recreation in uncontrolled surface waters;
– the sharp increase in multi-resistant fungi. 
During a dialogue with you on these topics, we hope to generate ideas for follow-up initiatives in the post-MEDUWA period.

German fund opens door for Dutch R&D

30.9.2019, Technical and social innovations are required to combat the emission of medicines and multi-resistant bacteria. A number of these innovations are being developed within the MEDUWA Project, but there is much more work to be done to complete the transition to a more sustainable pharmacy. This requires cooperation between social sectors, disciplines and countries, as well as extra funding.
Through its Sustainable Pharmacy Fund, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) is open to financing Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises and any knowledge partners who work together with a German partner on an innovative example project that achieves a clear environmental benefit.
This announcement can be found in an article about the benign-by-design medicine, published in the Pharmaceutisch Weekblad of 27 September 2019. Find more publications here.
More information: Alfons Uijtewaal,

Dutch pharmacists’ magazine shows renewed interest in medicines in the environment

17.7.2019, Once again, the Pharmaceutisch Weekblad publishes articles on environmental pollution by medicines. In May 2019, the MEDUWA approach was mentioned in an article on the new EU Strategy for Medicines in the Environment (Dutch); and in August 2019, MEDUWA will be referenced in an article on the development of environmentally responsible medicines.

Read further earlier article about the MEDUWA-approach (Dutch) written by Margarita Amador and Alfons Uijtewaal: Maak milieukringloop medicatie
deel van gezondheidsbeleid
, Pharmaceutisch Weekblad, Mei 24 2019.

Open vacancy at the MEDUWA-Vecht(e) project

25.06.2019, In the MEDUWA-Vecht(e) project one position becomes vacant from from 15.8 as scientific assistant (m/f/d) as project manager (remuneration group 13 TV-L, 70 %). More information on the job advertisement can be found on the homepage of the University of Osnabrück. The closing date for applications is 03.07.2019.

WIS User Session at University of Osnabrueck

14.06.2019, On June, 19th there will be a WIS/GREAT-ER workshop at the university of Osnabrück for the partners of the MEDUWA project. The general aims of the workshop are that participants gain a broader understanding of GREAT-ER (Geography-referenced regional exposure assessment tool for European rivers) and the WIS (watershed information system).

The WIS developed by Geoplex is one of the innovations developed in the context of MEDUWA. It is designed to be a platform to inform stakeholders about the current status of pharmaceuticals in the Vecht catchment. Currently, this information includes mainly data concerning a beforehand chosen set of 15 reference compounds and their predicted concentrations in the catchment. The predictions are made at the University of Osnabrück using the GREAT-ER model. By means of model predictions pharmaceutical concentrations can be assessed on catchment scale without comprehensive monitoring. Furthermore, different discharge conditions can be addressed (low flow, average flow). Once set up, the model can be used to evaluate different mitigation measures a priori (e.g. equipping a sewage treatment plant with an additional treatment stage, reduction of pharmaceutical consumption, …).

The best way to approach such a complex tool and to reduce the level of abstraction is to explore the model itself. At the WIS/GREAT-ER workshop the participants will do exactly this under the guidance of the partners of the University of Osnabrück and the coworkers of Geoplex.

Global Goals Event at HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen

23.05.2019, On May 22 2019 at the Global Goals Event at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen Stichting Huize Aarde organised a workshop about possible answers of the health care sector to the medicinal environmental cycle. The MEDUWA approach was presented. Participants (mainly from health care) were invited to approach the issue from economic, technical, social and ethical angles and to share what they could do themselves.

Lecture Green Pharmacy at Leiden University Medical Centre

21.05.2019, On May 20 2019 a lecture was given by Margarita Amador and Alfons Uijtewaal for pharmacy students at Leiden University Medical Centre about the need for a transition towards a sustainable pharmacy.
This was the second time such a lecture was given. The Master students showed much interest in the subject. A central issue raised by the students in 2018 was how green pharmacy looks like in countries that don’t have high tech water treatment installations etc.

SETAC Europe 29th Annual Meeting

26.03.2019, From May 26 to 30 2019 the next Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) conference will be held in Helsinki, see link.  It’s a 5-day event featuring a variety of learning opportunities on emerging research, regulatory developments and the latest methodologies in environmental toxicology and chemistry. The conference will be visited by 2,000 to 2,500 scientists, assessors, regulators and managers from academia, business and government, representing an average of 60 countries. This meeting provides a unique networking opportunity and a chance for cross-collaboration long after the meeting.

Save the date: 19 June 2019: VVM Café Water pollution by medicines with Alfons Uijtewaal

31.01.2019, The Knowledge and Relationship Network for Environmental Professionals, VVM, organises an evening on water pollution by medicines: problems and solutions (in Dutch). After use, medicines and their conversion products end up in surface water via the toilet, sewage treatment plants, soil and air. Every year, enormous quantities are involved. What are the possible consequences for health and ecology? And what can water management contribute to a more effective approach? These questions guide the discussion during the VVM Café on this subject on 19 June. MEDUWA initiator Alfons Uijtewaal, Huize Aarde Foundation, will discuss the more general environmental aspects and the possible consequences for human health.

MEDUWA Innovation “plasma-activated water” supports the Green Deal “Medicines out of the water”

22.02.2019, Cathy van Beek, appointed sustainable care quartermaster by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, explains the possibilities of the care sector to tackle the third pillar of the Green Deal Sustainable Care “Medicines out of the Water”:

Medicijnen uit het water

Medicijnen uit het water (Dutch only)Cathy van Beek, door het ministerie van VWS benoemd tot kwartiermaker duurzame zorg, legt de mogelijkheden van de zorg uit om de derde pijler van de Green Deal Duurzame Zorg "Medicijnen uit het Water" aan te pakken: "de zorg kan ontzettend veel doen.[…] We hebben elkaar nodig. Je moet het samen doen: de zorgsector, de watersector hebben verschillende talen en beelden van elkaar. Zoek elkaar op". Cathy van Beek pleit voor een groen formularium en oplossingen in de hele medicijnketen: naast minder medicijnen voor te schrijven, zijn er terugbrengacties en wordt onderzocht hoe medicijnen kunnen worden afgebroken in het water. Als voorbeeld geeft MEDUWA partner en RUMC toxicoloog Paul Scheepers de MEDUWA-innovatie "plasma geactiveerd water" om medicijnen af te breken direct nadat ze in de urine en ontlasting op het toilet worden geloosd.

Gepostet von MEDUWA-Vechte am Montag, 4. Februar 2019

“The care sector can do a lot […] We need each other. You have to do it together: the care sector, the water sector have different languages and images of each other. Look for each other”. Cathy van Beek argues for a green formularium and solutions throughout the entire medicine chain: in addition to prescribing fewer medicines, there are also return actions and research on how medicines can be broken down in the water. As an example, MEDUWA partner and RUMC toxicologist Paul Scheepers gives the MEDUWA innovation “plasma activated water” to break down pharmaceuticals immediately after they are discharged in the toilet.

MEDUWA-Vecht(e) Stakeholder & Partner Meeting enters second round

21.02.2019, “Exchanging with the innovators” – With this as a guiding principle, the MEDUWA team invited this year’s participants to their Stakeholder & Partner Meeting on January 15th to the Denkfabrik Nordhorn at the lake side of Lake Vechte. Next to a presentation of the 12 innovations, further lectures and fora on the subject of medical residues and multi-resistant bacteria in the Vechte have provided food for thought on holistic solutions in practice. Read the Summary_MEDUWA-Vecht(e) Stakeholder & Partner Meeting enters second round. Listen to more impressions of the stakeholder meeting in the following (German) NDR 1 broadcast of 15 January 2019:

Read more in the press release (in German) published by University Osnabrück.

MEDUWA in the Pharmaceutic Weekblad

24.01.2019, Tackling the cycle of micro-pollutants such as medicines and resistant bacteria through soil, food, and water can only be achieved with multi-level measures in the medicine chain. With this in mind, the MEDUWA-Vecht (e) project was set up in 2017, a collaboration between 27 Dutch and German companies and institutions. This
article is also available here: Frans van den Houdt, Addressing environmental damage with interventions throughout the medicine chain, Pharm weekbl 21 December 2018; 153-51 / 52.

Read further earlier articles about the MEDUWA-approach (in Dutch) written by Margarita Amador en Alfons Uijtewaal: Milieueffect medicijngebruik blinde vlek in Tijdschrift Milieu 2017-6; and Groene farmacie, Pharmaceutisch Weekblad, October 20 2017.

New article by MEDUWA partner Radboud University 

10.01.2019, Read Radboud University’s latest published contribution to the MEDUWA project. Download the article: Duarte, DJ, Oldenkamp, R., Ragas, AMJ, 2019,  Modelling environmental antibiotic-resistance gene abundance: A meta-analysis , Science for the Total Environment.

MEDUWA-Vecht(e) video

18.11.2018, Watch the MEDUWA-Vecht(e) videos to learn more about two MEDUWA innovations  – Phytoremediation and  Herbal Antibiotic Replacement

Sustainability cafe on ‘medicines from waste water’, lecture Ad Ragas, Nijmegen

15.07.2018, On Thursday, July 5, MEDUWA partner, Prof. Dr. Ad Ragas, Department of Environmental Studies Radboud University, gave a lecture on ‘medication in drinking water’ in the Marikenhuis in Nijmegen. Read more about the special edition sustainability café: ‘Preventing excess medication in drinking water‘.

Press release 1st MEDUWA Stakeholder and Partner Meeting

08.03.2018, The complex and increasingly debated issue of contamination in the environment by pharmaceuticals and multi-resistant bacteria is the subject of a transboundary innovation project at the Vechte River watershed in Germany and the Netherlands. The MEDUWA-Vecht (e) project (MEDicine Unwanted in WAter) is a consortium of 27 Dutch and German companies, universities, and governmental and non-governmental organizations developing a set of complementary techniques and methods to address this issue.

The contamination of soil and water by multi-resistant bacteria is a universal problem. Therefore, solutions directed at the entire lifecycle of these substances are needed. On Tuesday this week, the MEDUWA Vecht (e) project brought, for the first time, Dutch and German stakeholders from local and regional government agencies and NGOs concerned with human and environmental health together with project partners. The meeting that took place in Osnabrück was hosted by the lead organization of this innovation project, Osnabrück University. Read the PDF version of press release.

Cross-border project to limit medicines in water MEDUWA Article in H2O

08.01.2018, Alfons Uijtewaal, founder and co-coordinator of the MEDUWA-Vecht(e) project publishes an article on how we can limit the contamination of soil and water by medicines and multi-resistant bacteria in the river Vecht. Read more (article in Dutch)

Conference Green Pharmacy, University Medical Centre Utrecht

27.10.2017, The environmental cycle of medicines and multi-resistant bacteria is a motive for innovation in the human and veterinary medicine chain. The healthcare sector is looking for solutions to this societal challenge. During this symposium concrete options for action will be presented. MEDUWA is sponsoring this event and during the plenary and the poster sessions some MEDUWA-partners (Martien Graumans, RUMC, Rik Oldenkamp and Daniel Duarte, RU; and Willem Seinen, Alloksys BV) will present their work.

Link to program