All Points Medical Waste Blog

Pharmaceutical Waste: Key Considerations

Top Priorities For Safe Disposal

Pharmaceuticals are used by millions of people on a daily basis and are distributed by pharmacies, physicians, dentists, hospitals and other similar facilities. And while they are an important part of many medical treatments and can save lives, these drugs can do great harm, even cause death if they are disposed of improperly. Here’s a quick guide to the key challenges and considerations of safe pharmaceutical waste disposal:

Dangers and risks of improper pharmaceutical waste disposal

Pharmaceutical waste must be properly disposed of to prevent a variety of dangerous outcomes including contaminating the environment, exposure to people and wildlife and the risk of non-compliance which can lead to violations and hefty fines. If discarded improperly, unused or expired pharmaceuticals can cause illness, injury or death to humans and animals.

Key Considerations for Safe Disposal

  • Regulations Relating to Pharmaceuticals
    Pharmaceutical waste is highly regulated by numerous state and federal agencies including the EPA, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and others. It’s critical to remain up to date with all regulations and mandates to ensure compliance and avoid violations and fines. Proper and regular training is key for all staff who handle pharmaceutical waste.
  • Proper collection, categorization, storage and disposal
    Pharmaceutical waste, just like all other types of medical waste, comes in many forms and must be properly categorized, collected and disposed of. Not all pharmaceutical waste is alike and therefore, it’s important to ensure that employees handling the waste know and understand the differences between each category and how to handle, collect and dispose of it.
  • The Cost of Non Compliance
    One violation related to non compliance of pharmaceutical waste can cost an organization upwards of $15,000, which means you could potentially face millions in fines for improper disposal. In addition to fines, many companies have faced lawsuits from individuals, cities and states that were affected by improper pharmaceutical waste disposal.

Needless to say, pharmaceutical waste is a crucial topic for any medical facility. Following mandates, guidelines for safety and compliance are the top ways to ensure your organization does not suffer the consequences of improper disposal.

All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida and serving medical facilities across South Florida. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn how we can help with all your medical waste disposal needs.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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