Pharmaceutical waste management: disposing of controlled drugs
In the past six months, we’ve witnessed a series of local drives to reduce wasted medicines, a problem costing the NHS £300 million a year. NHS Tayside and South Gloucestershire are the latest to announce their new schemes for addressing the issue.
It follows growing pressure on GPs to cut the number of repeat prescriptions, and increase their efforts to prevent fraudulent claims for free prescriptions.
As the spotlight is placed firmly on individual practices, it’s time to look at your own responsibilities when it comes to pharmaceutical waste management.
The impact of wasted medicines
The financial cost of wasted medicines has been widely reported by the Department of Health and is a clear incentive for the NHS’s current focus. But possible savings aren’t the only reason to take a closer look at your processes for waste management.
Whilst the environmental impact is also a consideration, the potential social consequences of excess amounts of controlled drugs falling into the wrong hands are the most worrying.
Under The Drugs Misuse Act (2001) all health care providers have a legal obligation to properly dispose of controlled drugs. Out-of-date or unwanted medicines, like those which result from unnecessary repeat prescriptions, have to be carefully destroyed to prevent reuse.
Your part to play
Besides adhering to NHS guidelines on prescriptions, one of your most important duties in the management of wasted drugs is correct disposal.
It’s a regulation which no business can afford to overlook, and we have a range of specialized products to ensure your practice stays compliant with the law.
Firstly, to guarantee they can’t be retrieved, all controlled drugs have to be denatured before they’re placed in one of our receptacles. Our Controlled Drugs Denaturing Kit are simple to use and will help you meet these specific requirements.
Secondly, use our blue-lidded bins to safely store denatured drugs until they can be properly destructed by incineration.
As a licensed waste carrier, we’ll give you peace of mind that every step of the procedure is handled correctly and efficiently, with the appropriate paperwork and audits completed along the way.
As the heat is turned up on local NHS services and GP practices, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your healthcare business approaches pharmaceutical waste management with proficiency.
Have a look at the rest of our website, and get in touch if you have any queries about how we can provide expert assistance.