There are many large healthcare systems with robust waste management programs across the United States.  Individual facilities may have different pharmaceutical waste disposal practices for various types of medical waste due to unique facility policies, procedures, and state regulations.  Regardless of facility or state regulations, it is helpful to segregate medical and pharmaceutical waste into various categories to analyze the methodology related to disposal of different categories of medical waste.

Segregation of Medical Waste into Categories

Medical waste can be segregated into eight broad categories, and then analyzed for waste efficacy, safety, cost containment and logistical considerations.  The main broad categories identified for waste segregation at some of the most robust healthcare facilities in the U.S. include:

  1. Pharmaceutical waste  – solid or liquid medications, gauze, gloves, packaging, partially used containers
  2. Regulated medical waste – sharps containers, red bags with blood containment, biohazard products
  3. Hazardous waste – EPA listed hazardous waste, anything ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic including Mercury
  4. Controlled substances –controlled substances are divided into five drug schedules, Schedule I, II, III, IV and V as categorized by the DEA
  5. Special disposal and recycling – batteries, electronics, printer cartridges, plastics and glass
  6. General trash food waste, paper, packaging
  7. Chemotherapy waste – emptied vials, syringes, IVs, gowns, gloves, packaging
  8. Radioactive waste – iodine, iridium, cobalt, fluorine

Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal in Healthcare Facilities

It is critical to segregate these different types of medical waste in healthcare facilities and to follow proper and compliant disposal methods.  Many of these items have the potential to cause serious harm if not monitored closely and disposed of properly.

A controlled substance disposal policy is needed to avoid drug diversion and properly disposing of all pharmaceuticals and medical waste is necessary to eliminate environmental contamination.

C2R Global Manufacturing, Inc. is a leading provider of pharmaceutical waste management disposal, providing turnkey solutions for DEA and EPA compliance. Our easy to use products with an effective, patented* formula quickly neutralize medications to prevent drug diversion and environmental contamination. Contact us to learn more about our products, training, compliance consultations and industry best practices.