24/04/2023Life Sciences Translations
Sustainable healthcare: new challenges, new opportunities
It is impossible to talk about sustainable healthcare and medical device sustainability without talking about plastic waste
COVID-19 made the need for billions of single-use devices essential, and our concerns about plastic coffee stirrers and drinking straws became insignificant, but now, with that phase of the pandemic seemingly behind us, the spotlight is back on environmental sustainability in healthcare.
Given that plastic value chains are increasingly cross-border, problems and opportunities associated with plastics should be seen in the light of international developments, which, as such, entail documentation, communication, and language challenges. After decades of working with the healthcare industry as members of the Global Compact and thanks to our partnership with the German-Spanish Chamber of Commerce, CPSL is uniquely positioned to lighten the workload and make your green compliance a hallmark of your success in sustainable healthcare.
So what is sustainability in the healthcare context?
The goal is certainly to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, since the late 1970s, the medical device industry has been manufacturing medical devices labelled as single-use, in other words, designed to be used on one patient and then discarded. This strategy, however, is incompatible with the European strategy for plastics in a circular economy.The intentions couldn’t be better, but how can these goals be achieved?
- More sustainable healthcare materials
This can be achieved by reducing the number of materials to improve recyclability and by considering factors such as transportation, degradation, low-emission production, and renewability. Sometimes sustainable materials are unsafe, or they perform inadequately. Furthermore, many materials often aren’t used merely for image reasons, just as often they aren’t for regulatory reasons.
- Service life
Continuing to sustainably operate medical devices beyond their useful life can be both hazardous and legally problematic. However, a longer life with fewer service requirements can lead to an improved life cycle assessment.
- Use and disposal
Sustainability in the disposal or reuse of medical devices usually depends on the materials used, the production methods, and the type of device. The European Union is now focusing on planned obsolescence in the consumer world.
- More sustainable medical device packaging
This is extremely challenging for medical device manufacturers that produce sterile devices such as needles and catheters, which have to be packaged in an aseptic environment and frequently generate considerable waste. Moreover, new packaging potentially involves a design change, which means testing and re-certification by a notified body.
- Corporate structure
Beyond the materials that are produced, other corporate aspects must be made sustainable to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals and help to save the planet.
Sustainable healthcare, documentation, and communication
Most companies realize that they must keep a close eye on changing markets and that they must research and adapt their products and corporate structures to new requirements, which is a time-consuming task. That is why CPSL is a valued partner for medical device companies. We can assist you every step of the way while keeping you updated on the latest opportunities and helping to streamline your path to international expansion by providing efficient and accurate communication, linguistic and document management, for which you’ll need localization services.
Not only do we specialize in translations for all the traditional requirements of the healthcare industry, such as clinical trials, medical and test reports, MRIs, X-rays, informed consents, the Batch Manufacturing Record (BMR), pharmaceutical documentation, and so on, we are also qualified to manage the new types of medical device sustainability documentation required to certify the complex value chain of the circular economy, including all key players, from plastic packaging and medical device manufacturers and distributors to recyclers, retailers, and consumers.
What do these new documents look like?
The EU has already passed a draft of the European supply chain directive, which will certainly require that manufacturers issue policy statements, perform risk analyses, establish complaint mechanisms, and publish transparent reports. If all this sounds daunting, rest assured that CPSL is ready to assist on every aspect of these new tasks. You can count on CPSL’s communication, document management, linguistic, and technical expertise to assist you with the upcoming requirements for:
- toxicological risk assessments
- biological evaluations
- gap assessments
- submission reports
- test plan strategies
If you’re looking for a trusted translations partner to help you navigate the changing regulatory landscape in healthcare sustainability, look no further. CPSL is committed to making sustainability excellence your biggest green success.
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