RECOPHARMA and NHS Engage in Science-Policy Interface

May 26th2020. The EC-funded project RECOPHARMA, under the aegis of project partner Leonardo Piccinetti from Europe for Business, held a ground-breaking webinar to explore how the RECOPHARMA project and NHS Highland can collaborate in the removal and recovery of persistent pollutants from wastewater.

Webinar speakers included Sharon Pfleger, Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, NHS Highland; Dr Gustavo Perez UniversitatAutònoma de Barcelona, RECOPHARMA Project Manager; and project partners Professors of Chemistry Prof. Andrea Melchior and Prof.MarilenaTolazzi from the Faculty of Engineering, UniversitàdegliStudi di Udine, Italy.

Following warm introductions, Sharon Pfleger took to the floor to provide an insight into the One Health Breakthrough Partnership, Highlands of Scotland: a partnership comprising Scottish universities, environmental and health organisations working together to resolve the issue of pharma pollution. Sharon emphasised that prescribed medicine use is on the increase and it is vital to work upstream to engage networks of clinicians who can ‘green’ the lists of prescribable medicines (the formulary) along their life-cycles, reduce the environmental impact of healthcare, reduce pharmaceutical wastage as well as costs, and enhance water quality for positive health and economic outcomes. Sharon flagged up the work of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, of which NHS Highland is the first site in the UK and the first hospital globally to achieve membership.

Dr Gustavo Perez (UAB) then introduced the RECOPHARMA project, describing the remit of each of the project partners before moving on to an overview of the actual problem of recalcitrant cytostatic drugs and the challenges represented by their removal or degradation. The aim is to implement a pilot plant that will reliably and efficiently treat persistent pharmaceutical pollutants. What singles out the RECOPHARMA Project from other initiatives is its focus on joint programmes with Cuban researchers, and the resulting accomplishments in their improved skills.

The webinar concluded with presentations from Prof Andrea Melchior and Prof MarilenaTolazzi, who highlighted their current activities in the RECOPHARMA project, which centre on thermodynamics studiesof chemical equilibrium in solution and at interfaces, data analysis, titration (micro) calorimetry, reaction kinetics, spectrophotometry and molecular modelling.

The webinar is available to view here:


About the RECOPHARMA Project

The RECOPHARMA Project emerged from a need to develop an effective treatment to recover Recalcitrant Cytostatic Drugs (CDs) through the sequential integration of the potential offered by technologies such as Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs), ReagentlessThermosorption (RTS), Nanocomposites Functional Materials (NFMs) and Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP).

The RECOPHARMA Project, formed by 8 partners (see partners section), is a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange action, fostering intersectorial mobility between Europe and Cuba.

Initiated on 01/01/2018, during the 48 months of the project, 107 exchanges will be carried out (199 P M). This project is co-financed by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) of the European Research Framework Horizon2020 (with a budget of 895.000€).Co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union – Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

For information about the RECOPHARMAH2020 project:
twitter: @recopharma_info

For information, contact:
Coordinator:Prof. Manuel Valiente
UniversitatAutònoma de Barcelona,
Science Faculty. Building – Chemistry Department
08193, Bellaterra
Barcelona (Spain)
Tel: (+34) 93 581 49 38