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“Sustainable today, healthy tomorrow”

The SafeReturns initiative helps recover and recycle medical products, gaining international acclaim

Those who suffer from a chronic disease often rely on ready-to-use syringes or pens. With the SafeReturns program, patients can give them back to be recycled. At the Reuters Pharma Awards, the Swiss initiative was named the winner in the “Sustainability” category.

Johnson & Johnson has committed itself to a healthy future through its implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations. The SafeReturns program is already making a tangible contribution to reducing the environmental footprint of medical products. It offers patients a safe and easy way to return their used syringes and pens via Swiss Post so they can be recycled by Janssen, the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson. This sustainable product ecosystem also includes the optimization of packaging and the development of packaging material that is completely free of plastic. SafeReturns originated in the US and was then tailored to the needs of the Swiss market. The successful program will be launched in Norway next.

Together with patients for a healthy future

The Reuters Pharma Awards are geared toward pharmaceutical companies as well as technology or data providers that have successfully implemented innovative achievements. This year, 800 projects were submitted for consideration and 75 projects were selected for the finals, with SafeReturns emerging as the winner in the “Sustainability” category.

“The fact that SafeReturns is gaining international recognition inspires us to systematically continue along our chosen path. However, the long-term success of SafeReturns requires the acceptance and commitment of our patients. They deserve this award just as much as we do,” says Monika von Brandenstein, Product Manager Immunology at Janssen Switzerland.

Additional measures to reduce the amount of plastic, waste, and carbon emissions associated with our medical devices are already under development. We are convinced that we will be rewarded for taking on these challenges together – while fostering a healthy future for all.

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