Pharmaceutical waste is a rising problem in the healthcare industry. The amount of waste generated from pharmaceuticals is increasing every year. This leads to an increase in the cost of disposal.
The problem with pharmaceutical waste disposal is that it has become a costly process that can take up to six months or more. This is because the pharmaceutical companies are not doing anything to prevent this issue and they are not following regulations set by law.
Pharmaceutical companies should be doing more to prevent this issue by taking measures such as limiting their product distribution, increasing packaging, and investing in research and development.
What is Pharmaceutical Waste?
Pharmaceutical waste refers to unused, contaminated, broken, or expired pharmaceuticals and drugs.
The three most important types of pharmaceutical waste are:
- Prescription pharmaceuticals
- Nonprescription medications
- Research and development (R&D) pharmaceuticals
Every year, a lot of unused medication goes to waste. There is an annual projected waste of £300 million of NHS-prescribed drugs. And that’s in addition to OTC medications and experimental pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceutical waste is not limited to these three types. It also includes
- Packaging and medical goods that come into touch with drugs, such as worn PPE such as gloves.
- Used glass vials or syringes for administering medications.
- Cytostatic and cytotoxic pharmaceuticals; cancer-treating medications, immunosuppressants, antivirals, and hormone-based active agents.
- Infectious body fluids or samples
- Intravenous fluids
- Nutritional supplements (over 1 litre)
- Alcohol-based hand gels containing siloxanes
How to properly dispose of waste from pharmaceutical products
A lot of pharmaceutical companies are disposing of their waste at hazardous landfill sites. This is a bad move because these landfills are not design to handle the type of waste that these companies produce. The risk of disposing of pharmaceutical waste in a landfill is that it can contaminate the groundwater and soil, which could lead to contamination in drinking water and food. Facilities should outsource their waste needs to pharmaceutical waste disposal companies in their local area.
Doctors, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, and anybody else who prescribes, provides or handles regulated medications are all responsible for producing waste in the pharmaceutical industry. Because it is a different kind of waste that is subject to certain regulatory regulations. It must be processed and disposed of separately before being burned.
Even if they are beyond their expiration date or otherwise useless. These pharmaceutical supplies have to be denatured before being thrown away. This reduces the likelihood that the medications will be stolen or used inappropriately before they are destroyed. After that, the waste should be separated into pharmaceutical waste bins of a predetermined colour. Which will enable the different types of waste to be easily distinguished and disposed of appropriately.
Types Of Recycling Containers For Pharmaceutical Waste
Containers with blue, purple, and yellow lids are the ones used most often and effectively for the disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
Objects contaminated with non-hazardous waste and medicines that are not themselves harmful.
Sharp objects that be both cytotoxic and cytostatic
They are used for disposing of sharps. Needles, syringes, and other medical implements that have been used yet still have residue on them are considered sharps.
You’ll also be able to locate pharmaceutical bins that serve a variety of functions, such as liquid waste bins for pharmacies that help prevent spills. Even more specialised containers may be necessary for use in settings such as medical clinics, general practitioner (GP) surgeries, hospitals, and veterinary facilities.
For instance, receptacles that ensure the proper disposal of used wound dressings and swabs. As part of the public health system’s response to the widespread of the coronavirus, new waste bins for personal protective equipment (PPE) have been introduced. These bins enable the separation and subsequent disposal of COVID waste. Which includes used lateral flow tests and swabs, along with gloves, aprons, and masks.
Things To Know About Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal
The following are some of the guidelines for proper drug disposal:
- Disposal of used drugs must be done by licensed pharmacies or registered waste management companies.
- Used drugs should not be disposed of in landfills, incinerators, or other places where they can contaminate the soil or groundwater.
- Used drugs should not be thrown into domestic refuse bags and deposited at a landfill site.
- All unused medicines must be disposed of following local laws and regulations on medicines and medical devices.
What more do you need to do to ensure that you are in compliance with the legislation regarding pharmaceutical waste?
It is very necessary to have waste receptacles for waste that can be sealed to avoid spillage, theft, and the possibility of coming into unintentional touch with sharps, infectious materials, or potentially harmful pharmaceuticals.
Aside from the legal and safety considerations involved, ensuring that medications are disposed of appropriately is also crucial to minimise any possible negative effects on the environment. The improper or insufficient disposal of hazardous items, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or infectious waste, may have catastrophic effects on the surrounding plant and animal life as well as the water supply. One more justification for sticking to the regulations and getting appropriately rid of pharmaceutical waste.
TCW provides disposal services for pharmaceutical waste
Trikon clinical waste is the industry’s premier provider of disposal services for pharmaceutical waste and is standing by to assist you in maintaining compliance and safety. TCW has specialised teams located all around the UK, so no matter where you are, we are never far away.
We provide a comprehensive solution for the disposal of waste. Which includes determining your requirements, delivering the appropriate waste containers, as well as regular maintenance and disposal. We also use a pharmaceutical waste management procedure that is extremely simple to audit, which enables us to verify that everything has been completed properly. In essence, we take the problem of waste disposal compliance off of your hands for good.