Welcome to PREPARE
PREPARE is a UK Natural Environment Research Council knowledge exchange initiative with the overall aim to integrate the information and expertise required to assess the implications of pharmaceutical usage during a major disease outbreak for the environment, and the risk posed to current wastewater infrastructure.
The PREPARE Initiative aims to inform policy, regulation and emergency planning to ensure that ecotoxicologic and human health risks associated with pharmaceutical usage under pandemic and epidemic conditions are thoroughly assessed utilising all and currently available knowledge. PREPARE will also identify knowledge gaps requiring additional research to ensure the most comprehensive and robust preparedness policies.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that population growth and climate change are likely to intensify the risk of future epidemics and pandemics. In light of these new societal pressures, there has been a significant push from both national and international organizations in the establishment of pharmaceutical preparedness plans. In the event of a pandemic it is expected that unprecedented quantities of a suite of pharmaceutical products (e.g., antivirals, antibiotics, analgesics, antiphlogistics) are to be used to treat the infected. With each pharmaceutical comes a unique array of potential ecological targets, including humans. Moreover, the risks posed by a mixed waste stream cannot be predicted by knowledge of the ecotoxicology of its constituent parts. It is with this in mind that the PREPARE Initiative will explore the current knowledge base during this valuable and possibly brief window of opportunity to assess and inform current preparedness plans.