Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Vellinga, A,Cormican, S,Driscoll, J,Furey, M,O'Sullivan, M,Cormican, M
2014
April
Science Of The Total Environment
Public practice regarding disposal of unused medicines in Ireland
Published
Altmetric: 5WOS: 21 ()
Optional Fields
Questionnaire Disposal Household waste Drugs Medicine disposal Unused medicines HUMAN PHARMACEUTICALS HOUSEHOLD DISPOSAL HUMAN HEALTH ENVIRONMENT MEDICATIONS RISK DRUGS
478
98
102
Background: Over recent years, a global increase in the use of pharmaceutical products has been observed. EU directives state that "Member states shall ensure that appropriate collection systems are in place for medicinal products that are unused or have expired" (Directive 2001/83/EC and Directive 2004/27/EC).Objectives: There is no published data on how people in Ireland dispose of unused medicines; therefore the purpose of this study is to establish baseline information on storage and disposal of medicines.Design: Data was collected over two 2-week periods a year apart. People in the streets of Galway and Cork were approached randomly and invited to participate by filling out a questionnaire.Results: The questionnaire was completed by 398 individuals (207 in Galway and 191 in Cork). Unused medicines were kept in the home by 88% of the respondents. The most cited reason for keeping unused medicines was "in case they are needed later" (68%). Of the respondents who had disposed of medicine in the past, 72% had done so inappropriately. Environmentally inappropriate disposal methods were through general waste disposal and via the sewage system. Interestingly, of the people who had received advice on disposal practices from a healthcare professional, 75% disposed of their medicine appropriately.Conclusions: There is little awareness among members of the public regarding appropriate ways to dispose of unused medicines. Our findings suggest that effective communication and established protocols will promote appropriate disposal practices. (c) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.01.085
Grant Details
Publication Themes