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Disposing of Expired Drugs and Chemicals: New Options for Compounders

Author(s):  Vail Jane

Issue:  Jan/Feb 2008 - Compounding for Hospice and Cancer Patients
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Abstract:  Years ago, pharmacists disposed of expired drugs and chemicals by incinerating them, flushing them down the toilet, washing them down the sink, or attempting to return them to the manufacturer. Some of those methods of disposal have proven over time to exert a devastating effect on the environment (and often on the local community), and compliance with state and federal regulations for the management of expired drugs has become essential to avoid incurring fines and to protect the public welfare. Now, pharmacists who must navigate the complexities of that effort have professional allies. Over the last decade, the disposal of hazardous pharmaceutical waste has become a science, and companies with expertise in that specialty are increasing in number. In this article, information about several pharmaceutical waste disposal or returns companies is compared, and criteria for selecting a drug disposal service are presented.

Related Keywords: Jane Vail, expired drugs, chemicals, drug disposal, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, regulations, public welfare, medical waste, reverse distribution, reverse distributors, contractors, hazardous waste, drug returns, employee risk reduction, worker protection, regulatory compliance, Green Pharmacy Program, public safety, environment


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