All hazardous pharmaceutical waste and controlled substances must be disposed of properly according to all regulations set forth by federal regulating agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, and the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. Assuming that non-regulated pharmaceutical waste is considered non-hazardous is not completely accurate as almost any type of medication can be harmful to the environment or to people if taken in any way other than as intended.
A more accurate description of medications that are considered hazardous are those that are listed on the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act, RCRA, which is legislature that is regulated by the EPA. The RCRA details the correct treatment and waste disposal of hazardous medications. Even medications that are deemed as non-hazardous or non-RCRA pharmaceutical waste still must be properly disposed of according to DEA and EPA regulations. Prior to the enforcement of RCRA and the most recent DEA regulations effective in September of 2014, some healthcare workers in facilities were instructed to simply flush pharmaceutical waste down the drain. This practice was found to severely contaminate our nation’s water supply.
Improper disposal of medications contributed to environmental contamination and also left many opportunities for drug diversion, the unintended or misuse of medications particularly controlled substances. All pharmaceuticals must now be disposed of properly according to federal regulations such as 21 CFR, the DEA Code of Federal Regulations regarding pharmaceutical waste disposal and 40 CFR which details the EPA drug disposal methods for compliance.
Non-RCRA Pharmaceutical Waste
The majority of pharmaceutical waste from facilities such as hospitals and pharmacies is considered to be non-RCRA drugs such as:
- Medications that are listed as hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA
- U- and P- listed medications that contain listed chemicals that are not the sole active ingredient
- Medications which are categorized as carcinogenic by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Drugs which are categorized as below 50 mg/kg or LD50
- Any vitamin supplement or mineral that contains enough cadmium, chromium, or selenium to fail tests for toxicity
While these medications may be considered to be non-RCRA pharmaceuticals, they still must be disposed of properly to prevent contamination of water supplies and to prevent the diversion of drugs.
C2R Global Manufacturing offers safe and compliant drug disposal products for non-RCRA medications with Rx Destroyer™. This convenient pharmaceutical waste disposal container is easy to use, safe and affordable and meets all federal regulations as part of a compliant drug disposal system. Contact us to learn more about Rx Destroyer™ and how to maintain a safe drug disposal system that saves water and saves lives.