Controlled Substance Disposal Policy and Procedures

An effective controlled substance disposal policy is mandatory to protect healthcare workers, patients and medical facilities. Healthcare workers are at an increased risk for drug diversion, a serious epidemic in the United States. Drug diversion in hospitals and healthcare facilities puts patients at risk when they do not receive the …

The DEA and Controlled Substance Waste

The Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, is responsible for governing the regulations related to controlled substance (CS) disposal by ultimate users and registrants.  21 Code of Federal Regulations, CFR, outlines the rules for compliant CS waste procedures in 21 CFR Parts: 1300, 1301, 1304, 1305,1307, and 1317.  Institutions both public and …

CS Chain of Custody: Ensuring That Waste Is Not the Weakest Link

Healthcare providers are faced with unique challenges when it comes to handling and disposing of pharmaceutical waste. Nurses and healthcare workers handling controlled substances have responsibilities under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) including maintaining a properly documented chain of custody.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is tasked with enforcing the …

Are All Chemotherapy Agents Classified as Pharmaceutical Waste?

Disposing of chemotherapy waste raises a lot of questions even for those experienced in the industry. Questions always arise as to whether chemotherapy waste is considered hazardous waste or medical waste. With chemotherapy agents, there is not just one waste stream. There are chemotherapy agents classified as pharmaceutical waste and …

What Are the Implications for CS Waste in Medical Research

Pharmaceuticals and controlled substances are often used in medical research laboratories, requiring proper controls and disposal methods. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued Code of Federal Regulations regarding compliance to pharmaceutical waste disposal. These regulations apply to pharmaceutical waste from any industry including …

Financial Considerations for an Effective CS Waste Program

effective cs waste program

Properly disposing of expired medications is the main focus of any controlled substance (CS) waste program.  Hospitals must have policies and procedures in place for the safe management and disposal of pharmaceutical waste for expired, discontinued or leftover medications.  It is estimated that hospitals in the U.S. produce nearly 5.9 billion tons of medical waste each year.

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USP General Chapter <800> Compliance

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non-profit, private organization with standards enforced throughout various regulatory agencies such as individual state’s Boards of Pharmacy and the Joint Commission.  The USP’s latest chapter on managing hazardous drugs in the healthcare industry, USP<800>, provides comprehensive guidelines on managing the entire life cycle …

Does Your CS Waste Program Meet Joint Commission Requirements?

The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1951 with a focus on continually improving health care for the public.  The Joint Commission is the oldest and largest standards-setting, accrediting body in health care in the United States.  Approximately 4,500 general, long-term acute, rehabilitation, children’s, psychiatric …

Proper Documentation of CS Waste Program

A controlled substance (CS) waste program which meets DEA compliance must adhere to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 21, 40 and 42 pertaining to the regulations for drug waste disposal.  Each registrant, facility, distributor and reverse distributor must ensure that they meet all facility, local, tribal, state and federal …

DEA Medication Disposal Compliance: What’s the Real Cost?

The laws under compliant DEA medication disposal regulations have changed considerably in recent years.  In August of 2019, 40 CFR, the Code of Federal Regulations, went into effect which amends the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, RCRA.  Prior to the 2019, 40 CFR ruling, flushing of hazardous pharmaceutical waste down …

Are You Compliant with FDA Medication Disposal?

Educating medical staff in various healthcare facilities and settings is critical for FDA medication disposal compliance.  All too often, healthcare workers are not trained on the proper procedures for disposing of pharmaceuticals and simply throw leftover medications in the trash or are told to flush down a drain.  There are …

Are You Compliant with FDA Medication Disposal?

Educating medical staff in various healthcare facilities and settings is critical for FDA medication disposal compliance.  All too often, healthcare workers are not trained on the proper procedures for disposing of pharmaceuticals and simply throw leftover medications in the trash or are told to flush down a drain.  There are …

CS Waste Compliance: Easier Said than Done

The need for health care facilities to manage their controlled substance waste with compliance to DEA regulations has never been greater.  With heightened awareness to the opioid epidemic and drug diversion, properly disposing of controlled substance (CS) waste effectively and safely is critical.  Many health care facilities find CS waste …