PAIN POINT: New federal regulations on pharma waste are coming, and I’m not sure we’re ready.

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“New federal regulations on pharma waste are coming, and I’m not sure we’re ready.”

Stericycle, experts in medical waste management and compliance solutions.

New U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations intended to keep pharmaceutical waste from entering waterways will take effect August 21, 2019, and healthcare facilities need to start planning now to remain compliant. Chuck Wilson, Stericycle sales solution executive for healthcare compliance solutions, recently presented a Solvent Networks Thought Partners webinar covering what SCHA member hospitals need to know about the new rules, starting with the fact that until the new rules go into effect, hospitals should continue to follow current EPA guidelines as applies to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste. The webinar is one of many valuable resources available on demand on the Solvent Networks website.

Pharmaceutical waste consists of any pharmaceutical product that is no longer used for its intended purpose, not returnable for credit and designated for discard. Examples include partial vials (safety caps removed), un-dispensed items, pre-instilled IV’s, hospital repacks, pre-filled or partial syringes, discontinued or un-administered medications, patient prescriptions and physician Rx samples.

Some of the changes include a sewer ban on hazardous waste pharmaceuticals for facilities in all 50 states – a rule that states cannot reverse or change — a requirement that healthcare facilities register or re-register with the EPA, and an exemption for over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies from being P-listed waste.

Wilson said it’s vital that every facility understand what is currently in its pharmacy, whether items are characterized as hazardous or not. A thorough formulary should be completed “so that there is no doubt about what you have and how to properly waste it.” All Stericycle Rx Waste Service customers receive their characterized formulary as a vital part of their service. These are updated whenever the healthcare facility brings new drugs into their pharmacy or at the request of a Stericycle Compliance contact after their annual review.

For more information about the upcoming federal rule changes, download Stericycle’s “Frequently Asked Questions” from the Solvent Networks website or submit questions directly to the company at

Stericycle is an endorsed partner of Solvent Networks, which means the company has been thoroughly vetted for quality, value and customer service. To initiate a Stericycle contract for your facilities, contact us today.

We invite your comments, questions and suggestions. The more we know about your needs and priorities, the better we can serve you and SCHA. So do you have a Pain Point? Let us solve it! Let us know what pains you!

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