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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Disposed Unused Medications at a Village Community Pharmacy

Community Pharmacist, MGR1326 L-Imgarr, Malta
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Malta, MSD2080 Msida, Malta
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 45;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 28 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Wastage)
Background: The aim of this study was to determine the type, quantity, and cost of medications being disposed of by clients in a specifically-set pharmaceutical disposal bin at a village community pharmacy. Methods: Medicines placed in a medication disposal bin by clients were examined during a nine-month period from April to December 2018. The data recorded included the active ingredient, trade name, dose, dosage form, disposed quantity, and the actual expiry date on the pack. The medications were classified according to ATC (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System) code, and the cost of the amount wasted was calculated using the pharmacy’s price list. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 411 medications were collected, amounting to a total cost of approximately €2600. The largest group of medications belonged to the alimentary group, and this also represented the group with the highest monetary value. The number of months that medicinal products were retained by patients beyond the expiry date ranged from 1 to 232. Conclusion: This small study provides a glimpse of what clients dispose of in a medication bin when this is readily available in their community pharmacy, a simple measure which, if adopted on a national level, could aid in ensuring the appropriate disposal of wasted medication. View Full-Text
Keywords: community pharmacy; cost; disposal; expiry date; medication waste community pharmacy; cost; disposal; expiry date; medication waste
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Vella, V.; West, L.-M. Analysis of Disposed Unused Medications at a Village Community Pharmacy. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 45.

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