Document Detail

Disposal practices for unused medications in New Zealand community pharmacies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21892421     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
INTRODUCTION: One of the recommended methods for households to dispose of unused medications in many countries is to return them to community pharmacies. However, such a practice will only reduce the environmental levels of pharmaceuticals if the medications are also disposed of and destroyed properly by the pharmacies.
AIM: This study reports the results of a questionnaire sent to New Zealand community pharmacists regarding disposal practices for unused or expired medications in their workplaces.
METHODS: A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was sent to 500 randomly selected community pharmacies from all areas of New Zealand. The participants were asked how they disposed of a variety of medications. In addition, participants were also asked about whether they knew how unused medications were destroyed if their pharmacy used a third-party contractor or distributor to dispose of them.
RESULTS: Of the 265 respondents, 80.4% and 61.1% respectively reported that solid and semi-solid medications were removed by contractors. However liquid and Class B controlled drugs were predominantly disposed of down the pharmacy sink. Over 60% of the participating pharmacists indicated that they believed the contractors incinerated the collected pharmaceutical waste, and over 90% of the participating pharmacists indicated their wish for a state-run disposal and destruction system.
DISCUSSION: Liquid medications and Class B controlled drugs, which were commonly reported to be disposed of down the sewerage system, may increase the potential for environmental pollution by pharmaceuticals in New Zealand. There is a need for increased environmental awareness amongst community pharmacists in New Zealand.
Alfred Yc Tong; Barrie M Peake; Rhiannon Braund
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-09-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of primary health care     Volume:  3     ISSN:  1172-6156     ISO Abbreviation:  J Prim Health Care     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101524060     Medline TA:  J Prim Health Care     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  197-203     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.
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