An assessment of the current practice of community pharmacists for the disposal of medication waste in the United Arab Emirates: A deep analysis at a glance

Zelal Kharaba, Lubna Q. Khasawneh, Lynn Aloum, Rose Ghemrawi, Feras Jirjees, Nezar Al Bataineh, Ahmad Al-Azayzih, Manal Ali Buabeid, Sham Zain Al-Abdin, Yassen Alfoteih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The study aimed to identify the current practice carried out by community pharmacists to dispose of expired medications in their workplace and assess any practical steps utilized to reduce medication waste. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among community pharmacists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The participants were asked about their routine practice in disposing of different expired medications and the current actions taken to reduce the number of disposed medicines. Results: The study included (n = 418) community pharmacists. More than a third of expired liquid, solid, and semi-solid dosage forms were collected by licensed contractors. In addition, more than a third of the pharmacists disposed of different dosage forms via unauthorized methods (general garbage, sink and toilet). Most expired drugs were skin and hair products, antibiotics and analgesics. The majority of pharmacists (68.4 %, n = 286) agreed that expired pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products, other than those disposed of via contractor, should be done through a specialized centre. This opinion was found to be strongly associated with years of practice as community pharmacists (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Part of the existing disposal practices for expired pharmaceutical products in the UAE is carried out by contractors licensed by health authorities. However, concern remains regarding some pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products that have not been disposed of correctly. Additionally, there is a need for a specialized center for medication disposal (p < 0.05). A stock limitation is the best practice for managing medication quantities in stock (p < 0.05).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1773-1780
Number of pages8
JournalSaudi Pharmaceutical Journal
Volume30
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Community pharmacists
  • Disposal medications
  • Expired medications
  • Medication waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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