Articles and Resources for Canadian Retiring, Relocating Physicians and Physician Estates

Proper Drug Disposal Protocol for Closing Medical Practices

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Proper drug disposal for closing medical practices

Closing your medical practice? Need assistance with the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals?

Now that you’ve decided retire and close your medical practice, have you given any thought to the disposal of medicines you have on hand? Whether expired or not, you will want to follow established protocols for disposing of FDA regulated medicines, such as opiates, NSAIDS, injectables, natural health products, lozenges, and biologics.

Improper disposal of drugs can end up in the sewer system and become a threat to the environment, ending up in streams and rivers, and eventually in our drinking water. Children and animals can also be poisoned if they discover them.

Environmentalists have been aware of pharmaceutical traces in the environment. There is increasing concern that chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal care products may be affecting aquatic species, such as fish, mussels, and algae, and may possibly increase antibiotic resistance. Water treatment facilities aren’t equipped to deal with this type of contamination. Health Canada’s Environmental Impact Initiative was established as part of a response to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and requires that all substances in Canada must be assessed for impacts on human health and the environment. The Canadian Medical Association reports that the world’s doctors are concerned about the shoddy disposal of drugs.

Accountability is on the rise. Doctors don’t have to overprescribe drugs in order to receive a lot of negative attention. When you’re ready to retire, you may wish to take a complete inventory of all unused drugs etc. prior to disposing of them. Keep the medicines in the original container. You then have two options – contact your regular medical disposal company, or take the drugs to a Pharmacy that participates in a disposal program. The Post Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association has listed regional initiatives/take-back programs for each province/territory in Canada. Contact your local College of Physicians and Surgeons for additional guidance.

Need additional assistance disposing of your pharmaceuticals or in closing your practice? In addition to storage, we can provide assistant with equipment sale/donation, patient notification assistance, and patient placement assistance. Call RSRS at 1-888-563-3732 for further info.

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RSRS – Record Storage & Retrieval Services assists Canadian physicians with practice closure and medical records management. For more information, visit our website here.

Tel:  1-888-563-3732

Fax: 1-877-398-5932