Storage and Safe Disposal of Unwanted/Unused and Expired Medicines: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey among Indian Rural Population

    Published on:January 2019
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2019; 11(1):97-100
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2019.11.20

    Ponnusankar Sivasankaran*, Elmutaz Belah Mohammed, Navamani Ganesan, Raja Durai

    1Department of Pharmacy Practice, JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamilnadu, INDIA.

    2JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, INDIA.


    Objective: Isoniazid (INH) is metabolized by N-acetyl transferase-2 into Background: Over recent years, an increase in the use of pharmaceutical products has been observed. The lack of clear guidelines in India for the patients regarding the safe disposal of unwanted, unused, expired medicines are increasing the risk of accidental poisoning and environmental hazards. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the safe storage and disposal of unused and expired medicine by the public among rural and urban Indian population. Methods: This was an observational, prospective cross-sectional survey conducted for one year period from December 2015 to November 2016 and involved a random sample of households. A self-administrated questionnaire was administered to the study participant considering certain inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: A total of 1000 subjects agreed to participate and responded to the questionnaire. Most of respondents (58.3%) have unwanted or unused medicines, additionally, the expired medicines were noted to be 29.3%. Furthermore, the major reason for having unwanted or unused and expired medicines at home was 39.2% expecting its use in future, whereas, the least reason was a change in prescription (5.9%). Most of respondents (57.9%) agreed that pharmacists provided the information regarding proper storage and safe disposal of medicines. The most common method for disposal of household medicines was disposal in the trash (78.6%). 4% of the participants return unwanted or unused and expired medicines back to the pharmacy. Conclusion: Our study concluded that most of the respondents dispose of medicines unsafely. On the other hand, an appropriate medication disposal greatly impacted by patient education. Therefore, healthcare providers particularly pharmacists are literally better equipped to educate the public and create adequate awareness for proper storage and safe disposal of unwanted or unused and expired medicine.

    Key words: Public behavior, Expired medicines, Medicine disposal, Medicines storage, Medicines wastage, Unused/Unwanted medicines.

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