Would you eat a medicine containing substances used to treat HIV, cancer, fungal infections, high blood pressure and epilepsy? These are only some of the substances that pharmaceutical factories are dumping straight into the waters in Hyderabad, India. Together with our client Apotek Hjärtat (Sweden’s largest private pharmacy chain), we teamed up to bring the issues of pharmaceutical pollution to the surface.

Hyderabad in India is one of many sites in the world producing large quantities of medicinal drugs exported to the world. According to reports, pharmaceutical factories are dumping their medical waste straight into nature here. This is denied by the industry, so we decided to prove it. We collected 100 litres of water from the vicinity of Hyderabad’s drug factories, analyzed it and extracted the active substances. The result? Sordidum Pharmacum (“dirty medicine” in latin) - a drug cocktail that few would take voluntarily, made from pharma polluted water.

“A drug cocktail made from pharma waste”

Sordidum Pharmacum is a first of its kind innovation that makes the issues of pharmaceutical pollution, which is normally hard to fully understand, graspable for the many. The initiative aims to get politicians in Sweden to take sustainability into consideration when procuring pharmaceuticals, something that’s not done today. The project also highlights ”Välj med hjärtat” (Follow your heart) - a stamp of approval and labelling of prescription-free drugs that live up to our environment and sustainability standards.

Download the full report and follow the initiative: ​hardpilltoswallow.se