New policy for drug disposal
June 20, 2016: With the vast selection of drugs available for almost every ailment in the country, there has been a tremendous success in controlling health conditions with drugs. However, these drugs have an expiration, and the unused stock which have reached their expiration have to be disposed.
This is not only important to make space for the new batch of incoming drugs, but also to ensure that an expired or a degraded product doesn’t fall into the wrong hands or gets misused. Apart from the disposal of the active drug itself, the packaging material, product inserts, and other supporting paraphernalia have to be discarded too.
The Karnataka Government has taken up the matter of drug disposal on priority, and is devising a policy on its effective and systematic disposal. This will include not only the drugs that have reached their expiration date, but also those which are substandard, or do not meet the safety and/or stability requirements. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has tied up with Satva Health Solutions to develop innovative methods to cater to discarded medication. Currently, in the cities of Bengaluru and Mangalore, an estimated drug stock amounting to INR 10 crore needs to be dealt with, with an approximate processing cost of INR 1 crore to clear this pile up. Upon the successful completion of the pilot scale study which the KSPCB has outsourced, this initiative will be scaled up. With inputs from citizens, such as collection of a 0.5% drug cess tax, a steady inflow of funds will be ensured in order to continue this project with any hiccups.
Satva Health solutions has prior experience in disposal of drugs and biomedical wastes, and after multiple trial runs with pharmacies across the state, have embarked on this project for the scientific disposal of drug and hazardous wastes.
Dr. Jay Shinde