Drugs in Nursing Homes: 3 Success Strategies in Managing Pharmaceutical Waste in Long-term Care Facilities

Posted by Selin Hoboy on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

Managing the operations of skilled nursing or long-term care facilities requires attention to a range of requirements – especially when it comes to managing pharmaceuticals. Federal regulations governing the management of hazardous waste, including hazardous pharmaceuticals, are detailed within the Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

RCRA’s requirements for storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous waste apply equally to all businesses, regardless of the industry they are in or the type of healthcare they provide. The Stericycle Hazardous Drug Disposal Services (HDDS) program is designed to address the Rx waste needs of a wide range of customers – including skilled nursing and long-term care facilities (LTCF), which often require a more customized approach. 

1. Know the difference between Rx product and Rx waste.

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Topics: Drug Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste, Drug Disposal, Pharmaceutical Waste Management, Managing Pharmaceutical Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal


Posted by Selin Hoboy on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:10 AM


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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Topics: Pharmaceutical Disposal, Pharmaceutical Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste Management, Pharmaceutical Product Manager, Pharmaceutical Hazardous Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

5 Tips for Drug Disposal Management

Posted by Selin Hoboy on Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 09:17 AM

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Topics: Pharmaceutical Disposal, Drug Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste, Drug Disposal, Pharmaceutical Waste Management, Managing Pharmaceutical Waste, Stericycle Pharmaceutical Waste, Pharmaceutical Waste Regulations, Pharmaceutical Waste Consulting

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