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Abstract

ASSOCIATED ROLE OF PHARMACIST IN PHARMACEUTICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT

Bittu Kumar* and Nita Das Sharma

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Abstract

This report examines the pharmaceutical waste disposal systems of pharmaceutical industry in relation to the WHO guidelines for pharmaceutical waste disposal. It analyses pharmaceutical waste disposal at three levels of the Health Supply Chain: industry, community and household. First, the reportestablishes the recommended guidelines for pharmaceutical waste disposal. Then, it identifies the relevant national legislation in each country for pharmaceutical waste disposal. Finally, it uses a systematic literature review of the studies done in each case study country, paired with a survey and key informant interviews, to assess how pharmaceutical waste disposal functions in practice at each of the three levels of the Health Supply Chain. In this way, the report identifies gaps in policy and practice of pharmaceutical waste disposal in each case study country. Findings across the four countries include that although the guidelines for pharmaceutical waste disposal are generally comprehensive, enforcement could be stronger for each case study country. In addition, incinerators are commonly used at the community level (e.g. at hospitals), but they are of low quality and do not follow WHOrecommended guidelines, which can pose a danger for public health and the environment. Finally, it would be worthwhile to invest in education for staff at health-care facilities and for patients to increase awareness of proper pharmaceutical waste disposal techniques.

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