Ensuring proper disposal of your pharmaceutical waste is vital to ensuring proper compliance with the local regulations. Failing to do so could result in fines and penalties being imposed on your pharmacy or healthcare facility. We’ll help you avoid that by explaining the most important practices for disposing of your pharmaceutical waste. However, before discussing that, it is important to clearly define pharmaceutical waste and its categories:

What is Pharmaceutical Waste?

Pharmaceutical waste is composed of all pharmaceuticals and medicines that may have expired or are no longer needed. This can also include drugs that may have been contaminated, damaged, or are otherwise hazardous. In order to ensure the safety of your local ecosystem and the people that live there, it’s important to dispose of this waste carefully.

Classifications of Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceutical waste is classified in four major categories:

Mutagenic Waste

Mutagenic pharmaceuticals such as steroids or hormonal therapy drugs may be rather rare at most pharmacies, but if you stock them up, you must segregate them separately. This is because these drugs are a threat to anyone who may come across them without a prescription.

Hazardous Medicines

Apart from mutagenic waste, there are other hazardous medicines that you must watch out for. This includes addictive painkillers, antibiotics, heart medicines, and more.

These medicines have the potential to severely affect the ecological balance or affect the health of any person who ingests them without a prescription. You must remember that all expired medicines are treated as hazardous and must be discarded accordingly.

Infectious Waste

Infectious Waste includes all waste materials that may have come in contact with an infected person. This waste must always be sent to a treatment centre before being disposed of at an incinerator to help prevent the spread of the infection.

Unused Non-Hazardous Medicines

If your pharmaceutical waste includes non-hazardous Over-The-Counter drugs that are not expired, they can be safely disposed of without treatment.

Depending on your contractor, they may send these medicines to a landfill or to an incinerator. The NHS regularly updates the classification of hazardous and non-hazardous drugs, and if you need to update your records, your contractor can help with that.

How Should You Handle Your Pharmaceutical Waste?

Irrespective of whether you’re a pharmacist or a healthcare provider, your pharmaceutical waste would require the same disposal methods. You must always ensure that your waste has been segregated as per the decided norms and placed in the containers provided by your contractor. It is important to hire a reliable contractor who can resupply you with containers when needed and conduct pickups on time. This will ensure that your healthcare pharmacy or facility remains spotless and compliant at all times.

Final Thoughts

While handling pharmaceutical waste may be rather complicated due to the constantly updating regulations, you can breeze through it with the help of a reliable contractor. Just ensure that you always segregate your waste as per the regulations and your contractor will handle the rest.

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