Disposal Of Date Expired And Unused Medicines In India– A Conceptual Framework

      The medicines used for common ailments are stored by many household for emergency use. Many times these medicines expire despite being stored under prescribed conditions. It is important to dispose these medicines that are date expired and unused in an appropriate manner. The guidelines for disposal for medicines are prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA). Some of the methods suggested to dispose date expired and unused medicines include returning to manufacturer, landfill, and waste immobilization: encapsulation/ inertization, flushing it down the Sewer and incineration. Despite precautions associated with these methods, these methods are not effective. Studies have shown that these methods sometime poses a risk not only to human beings by increasing chances of taking wrong medications, accidental poisoning, adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions that increases health burden but also to the environment. In India, the knowledge regarding disposal of date expired and unused medicines is lacking among common people. A conceptual framework to dispose date expired and unused medicine is devised. Pharmacies interested in program would be identified wherein patients visiting these pharmacies would be asked to register with pharmacy and return the unused/date expired medicines to participating pharmacies. The unused and date expired medicines collected in pharmacies shall be segregated into various types by participating volunteers. The segregation would include various dosage forms and packing material. The recovered contents will be sent to a specialist company that uses specific procedures in order to recycle the collect reusable components and safely dispose of chemical components based on prescribed procedures. The reusable components shall be collected and property treated for reuse. This concept would not only sensitize people but also community pharmacists and would be advantageous to protection of environment.