Online Program

Analysis and comparison of pharmaceutical waste collection data by multiple methods in Maine

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heather Stewart, College of Pharmacy, University of New England, Portland, ME
Alexandra Malinowski, BS, College of Pharmacy, University of New England, Portland, ME
Kenneth L McCall III, BSPharm, PharmD, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of New England, Portland, ME
Leslie Ochs, PharmD, PhD, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of New England, Portland, ME
Meghan Sullivan, PharmD, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of New England, Portland, ME
Stevan Gressitt, MD, Center on Aging, University of Maine, Bangor, ME
Objective: There is a critical need for medication waste collection and disposal programs that are accessible to the consumer, both in urban and rural areas. The purpose of this project was to collect data regarding unused medications in order to inform healthcare providers about patient compliance of particular medication classes and to promote actions that could lead to fewer unused medications. The project goal is to improve patient safety by decreasing poisonings, abuse, misuse, and diversion of medications and to inform public health policy regarding medication waste. Methods: Medication drop-off events were conducted in April and October 2011 and April 2012. Data entry into the Pharmaceutical Collection Monitoring SystemTM (PCMS) was analyzed based on medication classification, controlled substance category, therapeutic class, and medication percent waste. Mail-back data consisted of a convenience sample and utilized DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) classifications. Results: Medication drop-off events resulted in a collection of 6,657 individual medications from 556 discrete participants. A total of 274,404 units (capsules, tablets, milliliters, patches, or grams) were collected representing 73.0% (±9.1%) medication waste when compared to the amount of medication dispensed. Medications returned through the mail-back method totaled 11,382 individual medications. Conclusion: Significant quantities of medications were collected including controlled substances. The high proportion of medication waste underscores the need for medication collection programs. Also, the need exists for educational campaigns to create awareness of risks associated with the accumulation of medications which contribute to poisonings, abuse, misuse, and diversion.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the need for successful and sustainable medication disposal community programs in rural and urban Maine. Demonstrate the importance to collect further medication disposal data to inform public health and healthcare policy as it relates to prescription medication prescribing patterns and trends. Explain the importance of involving student pharmacists in medication disposal community programs.

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Prescription Drug Use Patterns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of New England. My most recent work, as principal investigator, focuses on the epidemiology of medication waste and the evaluation of community prescription medication disposal programs in the state of Maine. In addition, I am trying to understand the reasons for prescription medication waste in hopes of informing public policy, increasing patient safety, and decreasing the abuse, misuse, and diversion of prescription medications.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.