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EPA wants public opinion on unused pharmaceutical disposal

EPA is requesting public comments on a draft guidance document titled Best Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities [1], for the study of unused pharmaceutical disposal at healthcare facilities.

The guidance was created after a concern was raised that pharmaceuticals are being discovered in the nation’s rivers, streams, and coastal waters at very low concentrations due to the large amounts of pharmaceuticals that are being flushed or disposed of down the drain.

The document is aimed at hospitals, medical clinics, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, and veterinary clinics, and describes techniques for reducing or avoiding pharmaceutical waste, practices for identifying and managing types of unused pharmaceuticals, and applicable disposal regulations.

In hopes that the document will decrease the amount of pharmaceuticals that are disposed of into bodies of water, EPA is soliciting recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders and welcomes public comments. A final version is expected to be published in late 2010.

Click here to view the document and give your comments. [1]