Students in the top pharmacy schools today understand that it’s crucial to dispose of medications appropriately to protect not only our environment but to keep medications away from children, pets and drug abusers. Medications should never be flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink with the exception of a few that are labeled as appropriate for elimination this way by the FDA. For the most part, in home disposal methods are the easiest options to safely get rid of expired or unused medication.
Home disposal suggests that any unwanted medicines be removed from their containers, put in a tightly sealed plastic container or bag and discarded with the household trash. If you have children or pets in your household it is suggested that you mix medications you’re getting rid of with cat litter or coffee grounds (or other unappetizing household waste) before sealing it in a container and discarding it.
PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), along with its partners, has developed the SMARxT Disposal Program in an effort to educate consumers about easy, free and safe ways to dispose of expired or unused medication in the home and why it’s crucial not to dispose of pills in the trash. PhRMA also advocates for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Take Back Day, a program that provides places for patients to drop off unwanted prescription medications which will then be eliminated by local law enforcement.
Law enforcement, medical practices, the top pharmacy schools and pharmacist companies all highly recommend that needles and other sharp medical pieces should never be flushed or disposed of in the trash or recycling bins. Improper disposal of these medical items puts family members, pets, housekeepers and sanitation workers at risk of injury. The best way to dispose of needles and other sharp items is to put them in a leak resistant, heavy duty, disposable container immediately after being used; in addition, take the time to properly label them to eliminate any doubt that they should be left alone..