Veterinarians Protect Staff, Patients, & Communities with Proper Medical Waste Disposal Practices

In honor of National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day (February 27), we’re highlighting a specific segment of medical waste generators – veterinary hospitals and clinics. Many veterinary practices are small businesses that play large roles in their communities by keeping pets healthy, supporting animal rescue organizations, and helping stop the spread of rabies and other diseases.

Because pet owners most often visit veterinary offices for preventative care – vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, etc. – it’s easy to forget that they are often small hospitals that can generate many of the same types of medical waste as human hospitals and medical offices. Indeed, for most companion animals, a veterinary hospital offers primary care, surgical care, emergency care, dental care, and end-of-life care. So, it’s no surprise that veterinarians must understand how to safely package and dispose of many types of regulated medical waste.
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INFOGRAPHIC: How Improper Disposal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Wastes Can Affect Health and Safety

Whether in the workplace or the home, the consequences of improper handling and disposal of medical and pharmaceutical wastes can be serious. The health and safety of healthcare providers, waste workers, and communities is at risk. Individual states and federal agencies including OSHA, DOT, USPS, DEA, and EPA regulate the handling, collection, transportation, and disposal of both pharmaceutical and medical wastes from businesses. Disposal guidelines and laws have also been put in place to provide safe disposal options for consumers.
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National Drug Take Back Days Raise Awareness About Safe Prescription Drug Disposal Methods

On October 28, 2017, local communities across the county will participate in the 14th “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day“. The Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement organizations coordinate Take Back Day events every April and October. The goal is two-fold: reduce the potential for misuse of unused prescription medications and educate the public about safe drug disposal methods.
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Industry & Communities Meet the Challenge of Safe Prescription Drug Disposal

Americans are taking more and more prescription drugs, both legally and illegally, and communities across the country are struggling to deal with the health, financial, and environmental effects. A particular hot-button issue is the safe disposal of expired and unwanted medication. Currently, stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, product stewardship organizations, federal, state, and local governments, individual pharmacies, and other healthcare entities are working to develop solutions. Medical waste disposal companies who are also reverse distributors like Sharps Compliance are playing a major role to assist these groups in the proper containment, transport, and destruction of unused pharmaceuticals.

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Two-Thirds of Americans Improperly Dispose of Medication

Two-thirds of Americans don’t know what to do with unused prescription drugs according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults conducted for Sharps Compliance. The findings showed that 2 out of 3 people either toss their medications into the garbage or flush them down the toilet, potentially threatening the safety of others and the environment

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