Procedures Regarding Expired Medicinal Products - Select Legal Issues
Agnieszka Zimmermann1, Lubomira Wengler1, Piotr Popowski2
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1Department of Medical Law,
2Department of Public Health,
Medical University of Gdańsk, Tuwima 15, 80-210 Gdańsk, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2011;20(4):1093-1096
This article discusses the problem of pharmaceutical waste as hazardous to both the environment and human health. Persistently low ecological awareness in society, coupled with a small number of reception places where such waste can be delivered, prevent it from adequate segregation. In effect, together with other household waste, it is sent to municipal landfills, which in most cases lack the suitable protection measures necessary to prevent negative environmental impact. Only recently have medicine manufacturers been under an obligation to include in their leaflets a notice of special precautions to be taken during the disposal of unused pharmaceuticals and their waste. At present, a selective collection of medicines constituting hazardous waste from the municipal sector is carried out to a very narrow extent. From the legal standpoint, constructing reception systems for all municipal waste is the obligation of the municipal authorities. A number of pharmacies cooperating with local governments volunteer to participate in the segregation of pharmaceutical waste, providing special containers for medicines that are past their sell-by date. The study also describes procedures for expired psychotropic medicines and narcotics, which due to social reasons present a substantial problem in terms of their disposal. Legal regulations require strict procedures while handling this type of medicine.
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