Physician Practice

Check your states for deadlines on the new hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule

Medical Environment Update, April 1, 2019

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Let your pharmacists and anyone else in your organization who handle hazardous waste pharmaceuticals know that the ban on flushing those drugs down a drain or toilet will be specifically prohibited as of August 2019. The EPA’s new final rule on the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals was published on February 22 in the Federal Register.

The ban on sewering hazardous waste pharmaceuticals is “long overdue,” said Kristin Fitzgerald, with the EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery on February 14 during the first of what could be several informational webinars the agency plans on the long-awaited rule.

Sewering “is a common practice in many healthcare facilities and it needs to stop,” said Fitzgerald, noting that the while the new prohibition applies only to hazardous waste drugs and only to those organizations covered under the new rule, the EPA strongly discourages the flushing of any pharmaceuticals by anyone anywhere.

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