Medication Disposal Compliance

July 7, 2022 | Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Are you in compliance with disposal of drug waste?  

In recent years, there has been a shift to stricter laws regulating pharmaceutical disposal. Practices such as flushing or putting medication waste down the drain are now illegal for DEA registrants. Prior to 2019, flushing medication (such as opioids) was a frequently used method of drug disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulations state that it is not permitted to violate any rules listed in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) such as flushing hazardous pharmaceutical waste. 

According to 21 CFR Part 1317, the method of destruction shall be consistent with the purpose of rendering all controlled substances to a non-retrievable state in order to prevent diversion of any such substance to illicit purposes and to protect public health and safety. Non-retrievable is defined as when a substance cannot be transformed to a physical or chemical condition or state as a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue.  

How can non-compliance effect the environment? 

Non-compliance with EPA regulations can cause irreversible damage to the natural environment. Flushing pharmaceuticals down the drain can harm ecosystems and wildlife living in water, which in return can permanently damage our water sources. Pharmaceuticals are one of the most difficult items to remove from water, and water treatment plants are generally not equipped to routinely remove medicines. The Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the US. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources.  

According to the EPA, where residences are connected to wastewater treatment plants, prescription and over-the-counter drugs poured down the sink or flushed can pass through the treatment system and enter rivers and lakes. They may flow downstream to serve as sources for community drinking water supplies.  

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

The penalties for non-compliance are quite immense.  Violating the rules of RCRA could lead to a fine up to $50,000 per day, per violation, and violations under SWDA could result in fines of up to $60,000 per day. Putting a proper drug disposal system in place can alleviate these concerns. The cost of Rx Destroyer is a drop in the bucket compared to one violation ticket from the DEA or EPA. The benefits of compliant drug disposal are clear for our natural resources, public health, and your business. Maintaining compliance does not have to be a hurdle with the proper guidance from Rx Destroyer. 

Rx Destroyer provides compliant EPA and DEA drug disposal 

Organizations have an obligation to protect the environment and the community through drug diversion, misuse, and water contamination. Maintaining compliance doesn’t have to be difficult. The Rx Destroyer chemical digestion method is compliant with EPA and DEA drug disposal standards; making Rx Destroyer a necessity to help your organization meet regulations.  

The Rx Destroyer™ pharmaceutical disposal system quickly begins to neutralize medications on contact and renders them inert and unavailable for misuse. This method of drug disposal is called chemical digestion and is an approved method of drug disposal by the DEA.