vasca

En la era postpasambre
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2008
1,155
23
101
Chilangolandia nuevamente
Status
Out of the oddball things I'd never expect to be doing in my current job, getting rid of expired meds wasn't on the list.

I was expecting the pharmacy that restocks my clinic once a month to be able to ship the expired meds personally, but they told me the local government is too cheap right now to be doing that anymore and suggested me a few good ways to destroy the stuff. I have a far off corner in the clinic to burn some of the meds, it's just.. sort of.. weird. Never burned pills before.

Got any ideas for a happy and not.. too contaminating healthy fire of expired hormonal and antibiotic drugs? Smash em? crumble em to pieces, disolve em in water?

Damn, and to think I lost a perfect opportunity to sell expired penicillin to that desperate farmer that needed it for his sick horse. :eyebrow:
 

cpants

Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2007
2,636
270
281
Status
Attending Physician
I would just put them in ziplocks, and then double garbage bag em and take em to the dump. Can't really do any harm in a landfill, and no one will be any wiser.
 

ar2388

rads resident
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2007
3,942
4
141
New York, NY
Status
Resident [Any Field]
better idea def than dissolving them and somehow contaminating the water supply with lots of expired meds...not that that doesnt happen already :(
 

Mr hawkings

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2004
1,320
6
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Put them in a ziplock bag and Take them to the pharmacy. They'll dispose of them the same way they do with old inventory.
 

Praziquantel86

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2008
2,572
40
161
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Put them in a ziplock bag and Take them to the pharmacy. They'll dispose of them the same way they do with old inventory.
Not true at all. Pharmacies return outdated inventory to their wholesalers. I don't know of any that will take back medications from their patients.

Right now, the recommendation is to make the medications unusable by mixing them with coffee grounds or used kitty litter and throwing them away with the normal trash. You'll also find official drug disposal programs every once in a while that allow people to come in and get rid of their unwanted medications. I just worked at one earlier today, had everyone from old ladies dropping off meds from the '50s (no joke) to EMS dropping off their expired atropine auto-injectors.
 

Mr hawkings

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2004
1,320
6
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Not true at all. Pharmacies return outdated inventory to their wholesalers. I don't know of any that will take back medications from their patients.

.
This might be state-specific but i think my local walgreens at home accepts old medications. Or at least thats what my PCP told me.
 

Mr hawkings

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2004
1,320
6
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Perhaps for disposal, I don't think any pharmacy would actually give money or refunds for that.
I guess you misunderstood me. It was never about getting any money. We were talking strictly about how to dispose of the drugs without contaminating the ground water.
 

Praziquantel86

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2008
2,572
40
161
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
This might be state-specific but i think my local walgreens at home accepts old medications. Or at least thats what my PCP told me.
If they do, they're the first I've heard of. There's no incentive for a pharmacy to take back old medications, all they'll do is sit and take up space that most pharmacies don't have. Not to mention that properly disposing of medications in bulk is quite expensive, especially when controls, chemotherapeutics, syringes, etc. are involved.

Destruction of controlled substances requires approval from the DEA and state authorities, while sharps and chemotherapeutics require specialized containers (which aren't cheap to dispose of). They'll also have to be taken to an incinerator, which as you might imagine, is not cheap to do. It would be nice if pharmacies could (and bully for those that do) but it's just not financially feasible for most pharmacies to take back old medications.
 
Feb 12, 2010
50
0
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Bleh, I usually just flush them down the drain.
I hope you're joking. Even though I think contamination of drinking water is largely overblown, pharmacists should know better and act accordingly.

I actually have experience processing outdated meds. My info is a little outdated because I haven't done it for more than 3 years. All manufacturers have a return policy from pharmacy. If you don't want to deal with individual companies there are a few companies you can you use. One is called One Box(google it). They take all kinds of meds even some controls and they can also process meds that can be returned to manufacturer for cash back. You have to itemize all the things you return and I remember they also send out prepaid boxes for shipping. Of course, they take a cut from the cash backs and also charge a fee for disposal. It takes a lot of time and research to properly dispose of meds, but from my experience you can get some money back for the pharmacy. In a lot of cases you can even get back the full original cost.
 

DAW2

Professional Pill Repackager
10+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2006
176
3
241
if we tear off the names and stick it in a bag and return it with expired meds the place that we send it to will take it but not give us any credit for it
 

apteryx

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2007
410
5
141
Status
Pharmacy Student
Feed them to the neighbor's sorry excuse for a dog.
 

clachan3

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2003
295
3
241
Visit site
Status
Pharmacist
Put them in a ziplock bag and Take them to the pharmacy. They'll dispose of them the same way they do with old inventory.
Nice idea only after you check with the pharmacy before you bring in your in-home pharmacy inventory, but please don't bring them to my pharmacy. No, we will not take any unwanted meds. :uhno: Please do not come to my pharmacy with your unwanted drugs. We mail out our expiring drugs ahead of time to corporate I believe, but not some disposal place and not the same place. Oh, maybe the doctor offices will take them because they'll dispose of them the same way they do with old samples. Just kidding .... I'm just waiting for the Walgreens drug disposal day :laugh:
 

Apteka

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2004
254
2
141
Status
Pharmacist
Walgreens in Northern CA (bay area) DOES NOT accept medication for disposal. Perhaps some of the chains do (out of courtesy,) but in the bay area, most do NOT.

Locally in SF, there is a medication disposal program (you call a phone # and they mail you a padded envelope to mail back to them) in place, but for the rest of the counties in SF, there aren't any programs (yet.)

http://sunsetscavenger.com/hazardousWasteMedications.htm