The SUDDEN research project has organized two hackathons, each with a distinct focus on different aspects of the value chain. The first hackathon centered around the value chain of sewage sludge, while the second hackathon, held on June 20th, brought together a diverse array of experts from various fields including pharmaceutical professionals, doctors, industry representatives, and regulators to promote the environmentally friendly use of medicines. By leveraging behavioral science frameworks and tools, this second hackathon placed particular emphasis on understanding the consumers’ perspective.
The hackathon started with a series of three presentations centered around the chosen topic. The first presentation, delivered from the SUDDEN research, delved into population perspectives on pharmaceuticals in the environment, revealing a notable prevalence of strong environmental attitudes coupled with a noticeable lack of knowledge in this area. The second presentation explored the viewpoint of pharmacists, providing an overview of past accomplishments as well as proposing future actions to be taken. Lastly, the third presentation highlighted various frameworks applicable to consumer behavior, with particular emphasis placed on the COM-B model. The model highlights capability, opportunity, and motivation behind desirable behaviors. The COM-B model provided a foundation for analyzing and understanding the intricate dynamics between consumers, their behaviors, and the environmental impact of medication usage.
Throughout the hackathon’s group work phase, participants provided valuable thoughts to address the challenges at hand. Suggestions from the participants included:
- Information Design: Adding easily understandable information on recycling to make it easier for the consumer to know how the medicine and its package should be recycled.
- Education and Awareness: Promoting education for both consumers and pharmacists to ensure proper medication adherence and enhancing the pharmacists’ understanding of environmental considerations. This comprehensive educational approach not only empowers pharmacists to provide optimal support to environmentally conscious consumers but also guarantees that consumers take the necessary medication with greater awareness and mindfulness.
- Consumer Support Program: Implementing a program that offers support to consumers when starting a new medication, ensuring that the prescribed medication aligns with their needs and reducing the risk of accumulating unnecessary pills. Additionally, this program would aim to establish new routines and offer ongoing guidance, thereby ensuring that individuals do not face the challenges of medication management alone.
In conclusion, the second hackathon organized by the SUDDEN research project served as an influential platform for interdisciplinary collaboration and insightful discussions. The shared expertise and innovative suggestions put forth by experts from various fields have paved the way for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future in the realm of medication usage.
The second SUDDEN hackathon was organized on June 20th in Helsinki. In addition to the SUDDEN research consortium, Fimea, Pfizer, pharmacists, doctors, researchers and students of the field were represented at the event. The topic was understanding the consumers’ perspective. At the beginning of the event, three keynotes were heard: “Population Perspectives on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment” Lasse Alajärvi (UEF, SUDDEN); “A view from pharmacy…” Teemu Ali-Kovero (The Finnish Pharmacists’ Society); “A primer on behavioral approach and the hackathon task” Lari Hokkanen (Demos Helsinki, SUDDEN).