Long Term Care Pharmaceutical WasteLong term care facilities need an efficient and compliant method of medication disposal that meets the most recent federal regulations.  In the past, many senior living care facilities would simply flush expired medications down the drain. This practice is no longer allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A Better Option Exists for Senior Living Long Term Care Providers 

Many senior living care providers are simply not aware that their pharmaceutical waste disposal methods could be putting them at risk for non-compliance.  Inefficient drug disposal practices also negatively affect the bottom line.  Medication disposal in senior living facilities has faced a shifting landscape with skilled nursing facilities facing even more stringent regulations than assisted living or independent living facilities regarding medication management.  With the recent shifts in regulatory requirements, senior living providers should evaluate how well their pharmaceutical waste disposal practices align with federal regulations set forth by the EPA and the Drug Enforcement Agency DEA), as well as with state regulations.

One common practice, flushing, or sewering, is no longer allowed as part of the DEA’s Final Rule on Disposal of Controlled Substances in 2014 as well as the EPA’s Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine, which took effect in August 2019. According to the rule, flushing does not meet the standards set forth by the DEA as an approved method of “non-retrievable” destruction of controlled substances. 

Skilled nursing facilities are included in this ruling while assisted or independent facilities may be exempt if they meet the definition of “household waste”.  The EPA, however, explicitly urged all facilities including assisted and independent living facilities to stop flushing medications immediately. Sewering medications have proven to cause widespread environmental contamination of the nation’s fresh water supply and can also lead to drug diversion, the misuse and abuse of prescription medication. When employees are not held accountable for the whereabouts of medications or checks and balances and a proper chain of custody are not followed, drug diversion is likely to occur which is a main contributor to the current opioid crisis in the U.S.

Disposing of medications with a non-retrievable method ensures that drug diversion does not occur and prevents environmental contamination at the same time.

Safer and Easier Drug Disposal Method for Senior Living Care Facilities 

As long-term care facilities address the new regulations, they are seeking the most effective, efficient and compliant drug disposal system for their facility. Senior living and long-term care facilities must change their practices and train staff on the latest regulations for pharmaceutical waste disposal, while providing an efficient means of drug disposal that does not interrupt current daily tasks.

This is where Rx Destroyer™ provides a solution that is safe and efficient as well as being a very important part of a compliant drug disposal solution.

Rx Destroyer™ quickly neutralizes medications on contact through chemical digestion, an approved method of drug destruction which meets the DEA’s requirements as non-retrievable.  It is so quick and easy, staff can literally just drop medications into the container, give a little shake and drugs are considered non-retrievable.

C2R Global Manufacturing is a leader among pharmaceutical waste disposal companies, offering Rx Destroyer™ as a solution for safe and efficient drug waste disposal.  With turnkey solutions including waste hauling and mail back options, Rx Destroyer is part of a robust, safe and compliant medication waste disposal program.  Contact us to learn more about improving pharmaceutical waste disposal in long-term care facilities with Rx Destroyer™.