Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceutical waste disposal and management affects more than just the bottom line—it also has real implications for the environment, consumers and employees. With increasing oversight from regulatory agencies, every facility that disposes of pharmaceuticals, from controlled substances to OTC medication, must meet strict handling and disposal mandates. Beyond harsh financial penalties, failure to meet these requirements can result in violations that have a lasting impact on brand perception.

MET-BIO expertise assists customers – from a single location pharmacy to a large medical complex— with the safe and compliant disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Pharmaceutical Waste has different classifications. Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste is characterized as hazardous waste if it contains the sole active ingredient of the “P” or “U” listed waste, as described in 40 CFR Part 261, or if it exhibits at least one of the following characteristics;

  • Ignitability- alcohol content greater than 24% and/or flash point greater than 140F hazardous waste number: D001
  • Toxicity-if concentration of chemical above regulatory level in mg/L-Hazardous waste number D002
  • Corrosivity-pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5-Hazardous waste D003
  • Reactivity-oxidizer, water reactive, air reactive-Hazardous waste D004-D0043

Non Hazardous Blue and White Container

  •  Expired pharmaceuticals
  • Outdated items repackaged at the pharmacy
  • Dropped pills
  • Partial IVs, ampoules, ointments, creams, lotions, and inhalers
  • Patient medications left at the hospital
  • Samples

All controlled substances are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and its promulgated rules. These regulations are administered by DEA. Options for disposal within these regulations are very limited. Because some of the chemicals regulated by CSA can also be hazardous waste, these pharmaceuticals must be specifically managed not only for safety and security, but also for environmental purposes.

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Businesses that need to dispose of over-the-counter medications face extensive penalties for violating any one of numerous regulations, regardless of waste quantity. MET-BIO helps customers manage the complex and changing regulatory requirements of pharmaceutical waste disposal, which includes disposal of over-the-counter medications. Whether customized for a single facility or for thousands of nationwide locations, these pharmaceutical waste services offer fine-tuned solutions for accountable, standardized and compliant disposal. MET-BIO’s regulatory and reverse-logistics experts collaborate with pharmacies and manufacturers to ensure compliance with all state and federal regulations, including those enforced by a number of agencies.

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