The Importance of Independent Pharmacies Advertising Their Commitment to Waste Management

If you’re the owner or business manager of an independent pharmacy, you have a challenge if you want to stand out from nationally known pharmacies. According to TelePharm, independent pharmacies need to offer an exceptional type of service to make the necessary impact on potential customers. The source suggests developing a proactive customer service policy, including expanding delivery options, and offering outpatient diagnostic services such as urgent care clinics.

With the increased global interest in finding eco-friendly businesses, an independent pharmacy business may also be able to kindle consumer attention by making potential clients aware of their commitment to responsible waste management.



What Is Pharmaceutical Waste?

Pharmaceutical waste can be defined as medications that cannot be used due to contamination, expiration, damage, or drug recall. These medications aren’t usable in their current state. Pharmaceutical waste also includes sharp objects that are associated with the administration of those medications. According to Rx Insider, the dangers associated with pharmacy waste can be aggravated by injuries from sharp objects, such as needles, lancets, or shards of glass medication vials.

Dangers of Medical Sharps

Healthcare professionals have guidelines about how to handle and dispose of needles and for the use of lancets to test blood sugar. Hospitals provide healthcare professionals with safe disposal bins for needles and lancets. People who inject insulin and test their blood sugar at home are given suggestions for safe containers for sharps disposal. Your pharmacy could provide a community service by offering a program that safely disposes of used sharp devices.

Why Are Some Medications Hazardous?

Pharmaceutical waste can be classified as hazardous and non-hazardous. General hazards include medications that, if handled, can cause harm to your skin and respiratory system. Chemotherapy medications shouldn’t be handled by anyone who doesn’t need chemo, since its side effects are severe, even for those who need to take them. Drugs classified as controlled medications shouldn’t be disposed of improperly if they are improperly disposed of because they can cause addiction.

Government Guidelines for Waste Disposal

The U.S. produces 268 million tons of waste yearly. Our municipalities must follow government regulations for the safe disposal of that waste. As for pharmaceutical waste, the government’s laws are even more stringent – especially for hazardous waste. All pharmacies must follow waste disposal guidelines, and their compliance is closely monitored.

Therefore, your pharmacy will have to post and follow the government regulations. When a pharmacy doesn’t comply with government waste disposal regulations, it can face fines of up to $37,500 per incident daily. By letting potential clients learn about their compliance with these government mandates, independent pharmacies can emphasize their concern for environmental safety.

How Medications Can Be Recycled

According to the EPA, an estimated 75% of the waste generated by Americans is recyclable, yet we only recycle 30% of that waste. Many don’t know that unused medications can be donated to needy people. According to AARP, as of 2022, up to 40 U.S. states have laws that allow people to donate medications safely. An independent pharmacy that sponsors a drug donation program can make a name for themselves as a caring community member.

Turn Your Compliance Into Publicity

Drug donation programs at your pharmacy can be accompanied by safe drug disposal and sharps collection programs sponsored by your pharmacy. These programs can become a way for your pharmacy to become known by the community. If your business has a website, advertising your participation in those programs can attract potential clients and be conveyed to the community as your commitment to the environment. This can turn your compliance with these waste disposal laws into a boon to your pharmacy’s reputation.



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Valerie M.

Valerie M. is a writer from Upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia in 2016 and is currently working at a digital marketing agency where she writes blog posts for a variety of small businesses all over the country. Valerie enjoys writing about music, animals, nature, and traveling.