Domingo-Echaburu S, Abajo Z, Lertxundi U, Saenz-del-Burgo L, Orive G.
University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Human and veterinary pharmaceuticals can end up in the environment via the different stages of the medicine life cycle, and they can have deleterious effects in the ecosystems and, in human health. Therefore, the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals is an issue of growing concern [1]. Even though healthcare professionals in general and pharmacists in particular are experts on drugs and medicines, they are likely unaware of drug pollution and schools of Medicine, Veterinary, Pharmacy, and Nursing around the world generally overlook the problem [2, 3]. Thus, the European Commission establishes the urgent need of increasing awareness and education among health-care professionals in this issue, as a measure to tackle with drug pollution [1].

Goals of the postgraduate course
The first goal of our course is to enhance the knowledge and the awareness about the impact of pharmaceuticals in the environment, especially among healthcare professionals. Secondarily, the initiative aims to build bridges between healthcare and environment professionals to find out interdisciplinary solutions to this growing issue.

Program description
The postgraduate degree has received approval by the Agency for Quality of the Basque University System (UNIBASQ), and is already offered by the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU as one of their university experts’ diploma.
The international teaching panel consists of 34 different professionals, 11 of which belong to the world’s top 2% scientists ranking according to the Stanford University [4]. It is an interdisciplinary and transversal group of lecturers, some of which come from the environment world and others from the healthcare setting.
The postgraduate course is 100% online and has 15 ECTS credits: 10 theory and 5 practice (development of personal research work). The theoretical part is divided into two blocks. The first one is made up of 8 topics related to The problem, and the second one includes 6 topics related to The possible solutions. The final evaluation will take into account the note of the exams grade of each block together with the personal work, which will be supervised by the organizers.

Experience and evaluation
In the first edition (November 2022- June 2023) there are 10 students registered, from 3 different nationalities (Spain, Mexico and Germany). Since it is still not finished, we have no data on the final evaluation but after the first evaluation period corresponding to The problem part of the course the average grade obtained by the students was 8 points out of a maximum of 10 in a test that tries to assess the acquisition of specific skills related to this subject.

The postgraduate course aims to contribute to solve the problem of drug pollution, via education especially to healthcare professionals, and may also help to build bridges between the environment and the healthcare world.

We kindly invite you to the 2023/2024 course. Contact: e-mail: Telephone : 0034-945 01 3468
Course website

1. European Commission. European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. [accessed October 8, 2021].
2. U. Lertxundi, S. Domingo-Echaburu, G. Orive. It’s about time healthcare professionals and academics start thinking about drug pollution. Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy. 2020;16: 100278. 10.1016/j.scp.2020.100278.
3. Domingo-Echaburu S. et al Knowledge and attitude about ecopharmacovigilance among pharmacy students in the Basque Country (Spain). 20th annual meeting of the ISoP-2021.