Background: The increase in pharmaceutical waste medicines is a global phenomenon and financial burden. The Circular Economy, as a philosophy within the pharmaceutical supply chain, aims to promote waste reduction, maximise medicines value, and enable sustainability within this supply chain (increasing circularity). Circularity strategies for pharmaceuticals are not currently implemented in many countries, due to quality and safety barriers. The aim of this study was to determine whether the application of circular economy principles can minimise pharmaceutical waste and support sustainability in the pharmaceutical supply chain; Methods: a detailed narrative literature review was conducted in order to examine pharmaceutical waste creation, management, disposal, and the application of circular economy principles; Results: the literature scrutinised revealed that pharmaceutical waste is created by multiple routes, each of which need to be addressed by pharmacists and healthcare bodies through the Circular Economy 9R principles. These principles act as a binding mechanism for disparate waste management initiatives. Medicines, or elements of a pharmaceutical product, can be better managed to reduce waste, cost, and reduce negative environmental impacts through unsafe disposal. Conclusions: the study findings outline a Circular Pharmaceutical Supply Chain and suggests that it should be considered and tested as a sustainable supply chain proposition.
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