- Understand regulations from federal agencies.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have established guidelines or regulations for managing pharmaceutical disposal. These are not always easy to interpret and execute, but a reliable pharmaceutical disposal company can help you determine how your healthcare facility or business can be compliant when disposing drugs.
Keep an eye out for new drug disposal regulations. Both the EPA and DEA recently have been working on new regulations.
- Know which local and state regulations will impact your drug disposal.
States may have stricter regulations surrounding disposal. Businesses should consult a reputable drug disposal company that will help you be compliant in your jurisdiction. In some areas local publicly owned water treatment facilities may also have flushing restrictions.
- Standardize your interpretation and compliance with federal, state, and local pharmaceutical regulations.
In addition to federal EPA requirements, state environmental agencies, municipal water, or county health departments may have their own local regulations that must be followed. For healthcare and other businesses, ensuring compliance with all branches and tiers of government is crucial to protecting your facility’s liability.
- Protect your community.
Controlled substances are regulated by the federal DEA. These laws help to keep narcotics from being diverted to those for whom they’re not prescribed. Be sure that all controlled substances are properly stored on site and are not accessible by unauthorized personnel.
- Keep drugs out of drinking and other fresh water.
The EPA considers many drugs to be hazardous to the environment. It has very specific management requirements. Medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) and nicotine, must be kept out of the water supply. These drugs should be discarded in separate, designated containers that require responsible disposal by a properly licensed waste company.
- Healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and others who generate large volumes of pharmaceutical wastes should consult with a licensed hazardous drug disposal company, such as Stericycle.
Keeping track of your quantities will ensure that you are managing your pharmaceuticals and all other wastes under the right regulatory conditions.