April 22, 2023, is DEA National Prescription Drug Takeback Day and at OctariusRx, we recognize and support the DEA’s efforts to provide education on the potential for abuse of medications. According to the DEA, in addition to education, Takeback Day is an opportunity to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the preferred way to dispose of unwanted household medications is through a drug take-back program. Do not flush expired or unwanted medications (either prescription or over the counter) down the toilet. Improper disposal increases the chances of these mediations ending up in our drinking water.
If you miss the date or are unable to dispose of your medications on this date, you can find and use one of the year-round pharmaceutical disposal locations. If this is not an option, the EPA provides instructions for household disposing. Proper disposal of medications helps everyone. According to the EPA, here are the ways proper disposal can protect us and the earth:
- Prevents poisoning of children and pets.
- Deters misuse by teenagers and adults.
- Avoids health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine, too much of the same medicine, or a medicine that is too old to work well.
- Keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers when poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet.
How a facility should dispose of controlled substances:
If you are a DEA registrant, such as a physician or facility, the best way to dispose of any medication, but especially controlled/hazardous substances is to work with a pharmacy consultant who is expert on these processes. There are quite a few nuances and staying compliant with state and federal laws is an absolute must.
Remember, there are differences between “wasting” medication and “destroying” medication. Each process has specific steps and not knowing the difference, could lead to a finding of non-compliance, or worse. If you need additional guidance, or if you need a consultant pharmacist to help you stay compliant with all aspects of handling controlled substances, reach out to us.
The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies. We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.