Pharmaceutical waste management in hospital ORs is a challenging and complex topic that requires careful planning, procedures and compliance to many regulations. Managing pharmaceutical waste in hospitals is critical to prevent drug diversion, environmental contamination and to protect staff and patient safety. There are three key issues to understand when looking at pharmaceutical waste:
- Do you know what is considered pharmaceutical waste?
- Does your facility segregate and properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste?
- Does your facility manage pharmaceutical waste disposal with an outside resource or manage internally?
Pharmaceutical waste consists of any pharmaceutical product that is no longer being used for the intended purpose, that is not returnable and that is designated to be discarded. Pharmaceutical waste includes many medications such as:
- Discontinued medications
- Partial syringes
- Partial vials
- Expired medications
- Expired physician Rx samples
- Medications not administered
- Unused patient prescriptions
Properly disposing of medical and pharmaceutical waste is required for compliance to several regulating agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) and other state, local and tribal requirements. Hospitals, pharmacies, operating rooms and surgical centers must comply with these regulations which include the 2014 DEA ruling, the Disposal Act which amends the Controlled Substances Act.
Common Violations from EPA Inspections
Hospitals must adhere to these EPA regulations to avoid fines, and most importantly to prevent drug diversion and environmental contamination. Some of the most common violations noted by EPA inspections include:
- Flushing hazardous pharmaceutical waste down the drain
- Incorrect labeling of hazardous waste
- Inadequate training of staff for hazardous waste management
- Improper disposal of chemotherapy medications
- Not conducting weekly inspections of pharmaceutical waste storage
- Inadequate or missing manifests and witness logs
- Improperly managing expired pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical Waste Management Solutions
A lack of training staff on the proper pharmaceutical waste management in hospital ORs is found to be a key factor of improper disposal of controlled substances. Access to quick and easy pharmaceutical disposal systems are also a key factor in busy hospitals and operating rooms. Providing simple disposal methods for hospital staff which meet DEA and EPA regulations protects a hospital from fines, drug diversion and contamination.
Rx Destroyer™ provides pharmaceutical waste management solutions with simple to use disposal containers. Our patented solution begins neutralizing medications on contact, rendering them non-retrievable and compliant to 21 CFR. We offer free compliance consultations to qualified customers along with on-site training and industry best practices. Our customers have come to appreciate and rely on our pharmaceutical waste management solutions in hospitals, long term care facilities, correctional institutions and many health care facilities.
Rx Destroyer™ provides safe, easy and federally compliant pharmaceutical waste solutions. Our medical waste disposal products require no addition of water, no batteries and no flammable powders and no contracts. Contact us for proven solutions to pharmaceutical waste management in hospital ORs and healthcare facilities.