DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20202930

A survey on the knowledge, perceptions and practices regarding unwanted medicine disposal among pharmacists in Sri Lanka

Vipula R. Bataduwaarachchi, Chamari L. Weerarathna, A. Paherathy, Dinuka S. Warapitiya, Mythili Sivapathasundaram, Thilini N. Wickramarathna, I. U. Haputhanthrige, Maheshi D. Wijayabandara, T. Rameshkumar

Abstract


Background: Unwanted medicines are defined as expired, unused, damaged or contaminated pharmaceutical products. Improper disposal of unwanted medicines leads to many health and environmental hazards. The World Health Organisation recommends that unwanted medicines should always be disposed properly. The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, practices and perceptions on the disposal of unwanted medicines among pharmacists in Sri Lanka.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among pharmacists in 40 private retail pharmacies in the Northern, Eastern and the Western provinces within a period of three months. The pharmacies were selected via stratified randomised sampling in each district. The most experienced pharmacist in each pharmacy was recruited for data collection. A pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used. The ethics approval was obtained (Ref: EC-12-190). The data was represented using simple descriptive statistics.

Results: The data was collected from 40 pharmacies. Among the pharmacists, 65% were males. The majority answered that burning and landfill as the most appropriate methods of disposal for most of the types of medicinal waste. A significant number of pharmacists were not aware about the method of disposal for anti-infective agents and anti-neoplastic agents. The majority perceived the seriousness of environmental damage caused by disposal via trash or sink. A majority was not agreeing to have pharmacies as collecting centers for unwanted medicines. A discrepancy between the pharmacists’ perceptions and the practices was observed.

Conclusions: The level of knowledge, practices and perceptions among pharmacists on unwanted medicines disposal was substandard and needs attention.


Keywords


Medication waste disposal, Pharmaceutical waste, Unwanted medicines

Full Text:

PDF

References


Chartier Y, Emmanuel J, Pieper U. eds. Safe management of wastes from health-care activities. WHO; 2014: 308.

Pilot study of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in fish tissue, EPA USA 2009. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/pilot-study-pharmaceuticals-and-personal-care-products-fish-tissue. Accessed on 10th September 2019.

Guidelines for safe disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals in and after emergencies, WHO 1999. Available at: http://www.who.int/water_ sanitation_health/medicalwaste/unwantpharm.pdf. Accessed on 11th September 2019.

Persson M, Sabelström E, Gunnarsson B. Handling of unused prescription drugs-knowledge, behaviour and attitude among Swedish people. Environ Int. 2009;35(5):771-4.

Tong AY, Peake BM, Braund R. Disposal practices for unused medications in New Zealand community pharmacies. J Prim Health Care. 2011;3(3):197-203.

Abahussain EA, Ball DE, Matowe WC. Practice and opinion towards disposal of unused medication in Kuwait. Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(5):352-7.

Kidd KA, Blanchfield PJ, Mills KH, Palace VP, Evans RE, Lazorchak JM, et al. Collapse of a fish population after exposure to a synthetic estrogen. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2007;104(21):8897-901.

Bataduwaarachchi VR, Thevarajah R, Weeraratne CL. Medication waste disposal practices among patients attending selected outpatient departments in a tertiary care institution: a cross sectional survey. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2018;7(5):888.

Bekker CL, Gardarsdottir H, Egberts AC, et al. Pharmacists’ activities to reduce medication waste: an international survey. Pharm (Basel, Switzerland) 2018;6(3):94.

Albaroodi KA, Albaroodi, Ibrahim KA. Pharmacists’ knowledge regarding drug disposal in Karbala. Pharm. 2019;7(2):57.

Michael I, Ogbonna B, Sunday N, Anetoh M, Matthew O. Assessment of disposal practices of expired and unused medications among community pharmacies in Anambra State southeast Nigeria: a mixed study design. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2019;12(1):12.

Raja S, Mohapatra S, Kalaiselvi A, Rani RJ. Awareness and disposal practices of unused and expired medication among health care professionals and students in a tertiary care teaching hospital. Biomed Pharmacol J. 2018;11(4):2073-8.

Suruchi A, Aditya R. Minimizing pharmaceutical waste: The role of the pharmacist. J Young Pharm 2014;6(3):14-9.

Chinwe ND. Knowledge and practices of pharmaceutical waste management among community pharmacists in Lagos metropolis. Clin Exp Pharmacol. 2016;6(2):68.

Bungau S, Tit D, Fodor K, Cioca G, Agop M, Iovan C, et al. Aspects regarding the pharmaceutical waste management in Romania. Sustainabil. 2018;10(8):2788.

Manojlović J, Jovanović V, Georgiev AM, Tesink JG, Arsić T, Marinković V. Pharmaceutical waste management in pharmacies at the primary level of health care in Serbia-Situation Analysis. Indian J Pharm Educ Res. 2015;49:106-11.

Imad EM, Asim AE, Tasneem JM, Wadha MM, Bhagavathula AS. Management of post-consumer pharmaceutical waste: an overview. SOJ Pharm Pharm Sci. 2017;4(5):1-5.

Bataduwaarachchi V, Weeraratne C. Global medication waste management practices: challenges and opportunities in developing countries. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2016;5(6):2290-4.