Hospitals, healthcare facilities of all types, and even veterinary clinics that manage pharmaceuticals must have a plan for proper waste disposal that meets all regulatory concerns. The EPA and the DEA regulate the proper handling of pharmaceutical waste on the federal level, although each facility is responsible for meeting all facility, state, local and tribal regulations as well. Getting started with a proper medication waste disposal program begins with pharmaceutical waste segregation and understanding the need for a waste program which is compliant to all regulatory and environmental concerns.
Facilities must evaluate how their pharmaceutical waste is being managed compared to their state and federal regulations. Identifying a leader in each facility to champion administrative and staff support is helpful to implement a successful and compliant medication waste policy. It is important to understand the regulatory issues and to know how to properly segregate pharmaceutical waste to meet all requirements.
Common Issues Addressed During EPA Inspections
Some of the most common issues arising during EPA inspections revolve around the proper segregation of pharmaceutical waste and include:
- Hazardous waste determinations and labeling done incorrectly or not at all
- Improper disposal of hazardous waste by flushing down the drain
- Improper disposal of chemotherapy drugs
- Inadequate training of staff and clinicians in the management of hazardous pharmaceutical waste
- Weekly inspections of hazardous pharmaceutical waste not conducted
- Inadequate or missing manifests of hazardous waste
- Improper management of expired pharmaceuticals
- Lack of an existing emergency contingency plan
Part of an effective pharmaceutical waste collection process includes many important factors such as:
- Staff training and screening
- Installing proper pharmaceutical waste collection containers
- Continual reinforcement and training on compliant medication waste disposal practices
- Training on identifying and segregating:
- RCRA pharmaceuticals
- Controlled substances
- IV solutions
- Container collection and replacement procedures
Solutions for Effective Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal
A drug disposal system must meet all DEA and EPA regulations as set forth in 21 CFR and 40 CFR to prevent environmental contamination and drug diversion. Prescription medications must be tracked from “cradle to grave” in a documented chain of custody. Drug disposal systems with containers that instantly neutralize medications meet federal regulations and are safe and convenient.
Rx Destroyer™ offers a solution for a compliant and segregated drug disposal system with easy to use containers. Simply drop the medication in the container, give a little shake and the patented formula quickly neutralizes the pharmaceuticals meeting DEA and EPA regulations. We offer pharmaceutical waste disposal solutions for all purpose medications including pills, lozenges, patches and more as well as solutions for disposing of liquid medications.
Rx Destroyer™ differs from other pharmaceutical waste management companies in our commitment to our customers. We provide to qualified customers compliance consultations, training, samples and industry best practices. Contact us to learn more about properly segregating and disposing of pharmaceutical waste.