EPA recently published a draft guidance document entitled Best Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities, No. EPA-821-R-10-006, August 26, 2010. EPA requested comments from the health care industry regarding the proposed practices. 75 Fed. Reg. 54627 (Sept. 8, 2010). This is an opportunity for hospitals, medical clinics, doctor’s offices, and long-term care facilities to provide input to EPA on practices that may, at some point in the future, be made into regulatory requirements.
Unused pharmaceuticals include dispensed prescriptions that patients do not use as well as materials that are beyond their expiration dates. EPA identified several typical reasons why pharmaceuticals become wasted. These include expiration before use (because of excessive purchases or samples left with doctors expire before use), dispensed pharmaceuticals go unused (a dosage is changed, the patient refuses to take dispensed mediations, the patient dies or is transferred prior to taking all medications, the patient has an adverse reaction and the use of the dispensed medication is halted), or an error occurs in dispensing the medication. Continue reading “LDEQ Finalizes Several Rules in June”