Assessment on disposal practices of unused and expired medications

Athira Sunil, Amritha Alice


The disposal practices of unwanted and expired pharmaceuticals has become a global issue that has caught the concern of health authorities, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and the general public. The current study aimed to assess the disposal practices of unused and expired medications among the households Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu. The qualitative, cross-sectional study was conducted using a well-structured questionnaire form. A total of 400 responses were obtained from each member of the family. Respondents who were below 18 years and not willing to participate in the study were excluded from the study. More than 50% of the study population reported that they stored unused and expired medications at home. Most of the participants revealed that the unused medications they stored costs approximately ≤ ₹300. Majority of participants dispose unused/expired medications by means of trash can (53.1%). A large proportion of the participants (71.2%) were unaware about novel disposal practices like drug take back system. The study concluded that there is an inappropriate disposal practice among households which has to be rectified by providing awareness among the public. Further studies should be conducted for the development of well formalized protocol regarding proper disposal practices.


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