4 Best Practices for Dealing with Pharmaceutical Waste

When you work in a pharmaceutical setting, whether it be a retail store, or a medical center, such as a hospital, there are incredibly stringent regulations pertaining to not just how you dispense medications, but also how they’re disposed of.

This initially started back in the 1970s when the EPA backed the Clean Water Act. In the early 2000s,a
number of research studies showed pharmaceutical compounds were in the majority of the sampled streams.

The Disposal Act was put into place more recently, in 2014, and it dictates how long health care facilities have to store and dispose of various types of pharmaceutical waste items.

Pharmaceutical waste isn’t the same as products that could still have value if they were sent back to a manufacturer. Waste means those items that can’t be used and can’t be sent back, so they have to be discarded.

Below are 4 best practices to ensure pharmaceutical facilities of all kinds remain vigilant and proactive in their waste management procedures.

Know What Kind of Waste You’re Dealing With

There are different types of pharmaceutical waste. Some kinds are classified as hazardous, which means they have to be disposed of in a different way from non-hazardous determinations.

Working with a waste management provider can help you not only determine how specific waste should be dealt with, but also how to categorize the sub-areas of hazardous waste determination.

Provide Refresher Training to Employees Each Year

Training pharmacy employees on compliance and waste regulatory issues when they’re hired isn’t enough to keep up with changes that happen so frequently.

It’s important to make sure all staff members are trained on a regular basis to account for any changes that may have occurred. Bi-annually is ideal but annually will work as well.

Cultivate a Culture of Compliance

Pharmacy settings often don’t have the rigid focus on compliance found in other medical settings, because the focus tends to be acting as a customer liaison and providing the utmost in care and guidance to patients.

While this is, of course, imperative, so is creating a culture of compliance.

This can be achieved not only through thorough training, but also, regular assessments to make sure everyone is up-to-date on their knowledge of regulations. Put in place systems and procedures where the focus is on regulatory compliance.

Keep Everything Clearly Labeled

Labeling is so simple, yet is such an overlooked component of waste management compliance in medical and pharmaceutical settings.

Properly labeling disposal containers, and also having signs throughout your organization that let personnel know how they should handle different kinds of waste, can go a long way in improving compliance.

An Overlooked Issue

Statistics show only about 20% of pharmacists learned about proper medication disposal in pharmacy school. This is truly startling. As an employer it’s important to take the necessary steps to make sure every employee knows the ins and outs of proper disposal, to prevent not only safety hazards but also potential fines from government and regulatory agencies.

12th Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

I was actually browsing at department 56 website when an email sent from MIMS.com arrived informing about the upcoming 12th Asian Conference on Clinical Pharmacy.

Though I am not a medical doctor yet nor a pharmaceutical personnel, I found the conference very useful even for a medical student like me. As it was mentioned in the email that lecturers will be presenting interesting lectures, I am pretty sure, there will be new advancements in the pharmaceutical field to be discussed.

How I wish I could attend one conference on clinical pharmacy soon — as soon as I’ll becoming a licensed medical doctor someday.

And oh, by the way, the pre-registration of the said conference as stated in the email will just be until this coming June 30, 2012. The conference will be held in Hong Kong SAR, China this coming July 7-9, 2012.

Injured Left Collar Bone

For me to be done with our research study which will be presented this Monday, March 7, 2011, I keep myself going, moving with every bit regarding our research. Off course, being just only a human, I do felt boredom and being a bit tired with those stuff. Even just a minute, I do check casinos online, blog hop, twit and facebook chatting.At around 4:30 in the afternoon, I went to school to meet with the statistician, consulting some analytic stuffs regarding our statistical methods for our research study. Since it was still sunny hot, I opted to use the shortest way near my building where a lot of squatters living. Along my way, I met three kids, they’re all siblings. The eldest was a girl, playing water, spraying it to her plastic plants, and while doing so, I didn’t noticed she was spraying not until she sprayed it to my right shirt sleeves. After, that was maybe just 2 steps away from the eldest kid while I was checking my sleeves, I was suddenly hit by a big stone, as big as my fist, here in my left collar bone. The kid who threw me was about to threw it to her elder brother who is at my back. The three kiddos were all teary-eyed looking at me coz I, myself, was crying trying to check on my painful bleeding collar bone.

Taken by one of the nurses, sent to me via
bluetooth after dressing my collar bone

Since those were just kiddos, I just told the eldest of them to keep an eye of her youngest brother so no would be hit again.

But what caused me pain much was the fact that 3 minutes after that incidence, I was still on the same place where I was hit by a stone, while checking my mobile phone to call M, I received an SMS from the statistician that she wasn’t done yet with the analysis of our research so she couldn’t meet me yet, though she’s the one who scheduled for a meeting on Friday. Everything turned out that I only went to that place for me to get wet and hit by those kids. I ended up visiting the school’s hospital ER, the Sacred Heart Hospital.