Skip to main content
Stericycle - Go to home page
Blog     Healthcare Solutions     November 2015     Responsible Leadership for Pharmaceutical Waste Co
Healthcare Solutions 16 November, 2015

Responsible Leadership for Pharmaceutical Waste Co

A recent report highlighted a small medical center in the Northeast being fined for failing to identify certain pharmaceutical wastes as hazardous and properly disposing of this waste. Responsible hospital leaders prioritize plans for building a comprehensive program focused on compliance, safety and preventing pharmaceuticals from reaching public water supplies. A recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review focuses on understanding major trends with 10 key insights about properly managing pharmaceutical waste especially when considering the new proposed EPA rule. Do you have what it takes to manage it alone? “Most hospital teams do not have the in-house expertise or the bandwith to comb through the thousands of drugs in their formulary and to determine which ones are regulated,” said John Hudgens, sustainability manager for Children’s Hospital of Colorado, a customer. Complex regulations for pharmaceutical disposal methods can prevent accomplishing full regulatory compliance which experts believe at least one-quarter of all facilities struggle to manage. A customer, Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, understands what it takes. “Pharmaceutical waste is complicated more by the fact that some drugs are hazardous and others nonhazardous. It can be difficult to create a comprehensive process for segregating what is hazardous waste,” said Tom Johnson, Pharm.D., assistant vice president of hospital pharmacy. Once started, training programs that cover all units and shifts allow teams to benefit especially when specific to pharmacy, the OR, ER, environmental services, clinicians and education staff who keep up with changing regulations. Rules governing how waste is managed differ depending on the type and volume of waste generated at each facility. Read the article for more about these 10 insights. 10 insights for managing a pharmaceutical waste compliance program
  1. Characterize your drug formulary
  2. Strategically place containers throughout a facility
  3. Segregate waste including what is hazardous, non-hazardous, and incompatible
  4. Identify the percentage of hazardous pharmaceutical waste that is regulated
  5. Determine if a partner is needed to manage your pharmaceutical waste
  6. Make training mandatory for certain departments
  7. Prepare for the inevitable audit by a regulatory agency
  8. Certify staff on signing manifest documents as proof of transport and proper disposal
  9. Sustain program compliance and real-time awareness of regulatory changes
  10. Formalize an extended program for your off-sites

Posted by Maria Lyubelsky