Pharmacist's opinion and practice towards disposal of unused medications in South India

Author : Lagishetty Radhakrishna, Prabhu Nagarajan

A large portion of the pharmaceuticals in our water comes from the improper disposal of unused or unwanted drugs by households and medical facilities. The ability to detect these tiny amounts has increased public awareness and raised new questions about the potential longer-term impact of pharmaceuticals on environment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the opinion and practice of the pharmacists towards disposal of unwanted/ left out medicines. A random qualitative interview study was conducted and the data was collected by face to face semi structured interview among registered pharmacists in south India. Institutional Ethical clearance was obtained before proceeding for the study. A total of 127 registered pharmacists were participated in the study. Disposing unwanted medicines in trash and flushing down the sink by 50.5% was the main method by the respondents, 63.9% agreed that they were not aware of environmental hazards due to improper drug disposal; however 45% of the participants were accepted to have their pharmacy as a collecting point of unwanted medicines. Need of some policies to implement strictly and concerned authorities should monitor and implement proper disposal guidelines.

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