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Prescriptions and Pill Bottles

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Pharmacies carry a lot of sensitive information in their computers just like medical offices. There you can find name, date of birth, address, insurance information, and of course a list of medications of every patient that fills a prescription at a pharmacy. Once filled, a lot of that information is printed right on the bottle: usually the person’s date of birth, address, and other prescribing information.

The issue becomes dealing with not only the information printed on the pill bottles and accompanying handouts, but the drugs themselves. And this is for pharmacists, hospitals, and other medical organizations that are governed by HIPAA laws. As a source of personal information, the bottles and any labels must be destroyed in a compliant manner. Destroying any drugs that they may contain is covered by separate rules in each state.

Pharmacies are a source for community members to bring unwanted or expired medications for proper disposal. Unused pharmaceuticals are a hazard for abuse and are a threat to the environment if disposed of improperly. At most pharmacies, take-back programs allow individuals to drop off old medications, which are often disposed of in accordance with the law. This includes incineration.

It is up to pharmacies and patients to securely and safely destroy the information as far as empty pill bottles and printed handouts. There are medical providers that have special machinery for pill bottle shredding so long as they still carry a label on them.

The easiest way to secure your information before destroying an empty pill bottle is to remove the label.  The recommendation is to use a permanent marker on them, or scratch off your name and prescription number. Identity thieves can use this information in a number of ways if they get the information off a pill bottle in your trash.

Our company can offer assistance with its mobile shredding solutions if you are a healthcare professional that is concerned with pill bottle shredding, our sister company. We can handle all types of HIPAA compliance issues, from printed documents to electronic devices to destroying patient data. Glycon LLC can assist with any unused or expired medication as well. Patients can leave their printed handouts and pill bottles in a shred bin to be securely destroyed during a one-time visit.

Let us be your one-stop solution if you have prescription bottles, medications, or any other materials you need to destroy properly.

Choosing The Right Sharps Containers For Your Facility

Regulations State That Healthcare Facilities Must Follow Specific Criteria When Choosing Sharps Containers.

The best defense against sharps-related injury is implementing a sharps safety program. OSHA recommends that institutions look at their needle devices. It helps to determine safety and check how you handled and disposed of sharps. Part of this process includes choosing the right sharps container to keep sharps out of the trash and held in a safe receptacle prior to disposal.

Sharp disposal guidelines state:

  • Used sharps can only be disposed of in a sharps container
  • Sharps containers may be purchased from supply companies
  • Sharps containers must be rigid, puncture-proof, and have lids that seal securely

Sharps containers are regulated by the FDA as a Class II general hospital medical device through the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. There is a list of questions product evaluators should ask when selecting a sharps container that manufacturers should consider in the design process. These include puncture resistance, mounting systems, safety features, opening and closing mechanisms, safe transport, autoclaving capability, potential for spillage, ease of use, handling procedures, overfill protection, container access, container color and warning labels, and cost effectiveness.

Outlining what is required for safe containment and accessibility the CDC also offers a “performance criteria” for sharps disposal containers. This factors includes visibility, accessibility, functionality, and accommodation.

Aside from regulations, facilities should determine how quickly they will accumulate sharps waste, how many sharps areas they will require, or, if applicable, will they be mobile or fixed sharps containers?

Working with a certified and responsible medical waste disposal company is an easy way to select the right sharps container. We can ensure your staff’s safety and your company’s regulatory compliance When you work with a company like ours you are working with a company who can help you manage all of your medical and pharmaceutical waste disposal needs, including purchasing the right sharps container for your facility.


When we make a decision about disposing of pharmaceuticals of any kind, it is time for hesitation whether to flush prescriptions down the toilet or sink. It’s obvious that doing such things may raise the risk of contaminating ground water. However it is also not desirable to throw the said pharmaceuticals in the trash. Landfills are already overflowing with hazardous items, and there is a possibility for them to end up in the wrong hands. The EPA and other governing agencies have been sparing their efforts over the past couple of years putting together policies to protect our environment and the human race alike.

What does this mean for your business or facility? Check out the following frequently asked questions about pharmaceutical waste disposal and waste management if you want to find out more about how you can assist your place of work and your environment.

Are All Pharmaceuticals Considered Hazardous Waste?

Of course, not all pharmaceutical waste is considered a hazardous waste depending on where you live. Although even if a particular type of pharmaceutical waste may not be considered “hazardous”, pharmaceuticals can still be harmful. Because of this reason it is very important to dispose of, transport, and eliminate pharmaceutical waste properly. Different types of chemicals combinations are included in pharmaceuticals. and in case of improper disposing of multiple pharmaceuticals major damage can be caused.

Can Pharmaceutical Waste Be Red Bagged ?

The simple answer is “no.” Like we talked about it above, pharmaceutical waste often contains many different chemicals and chemical combinations; therefore, it is considered a hazardous chemical waste. Red bagged waste contains bio-hazardous waste and is most commonly placed in an autoclave, microwave, or incinerator until the waste is considered harmless.

Hazardous chemical waste, such as pharmaceutical waste, must be disposed of by placing the waste into an incinerator which is brought to a temperature that is so high that it can literally break down the chemical composition of the waste.

Can All Pharmaceutical Waste Be Placed In The Same Disposal Container?

Pharmaceutical waste can have different forms, among them liquid, powder, and solids. As far as we know from the subject of chemistry class, when we join certain chemicals together, chemical reactions occur. So it is very important that certain pharmaceuticals be divided in separate containers depending on certain characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.

Why Is Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Important?

There are a lot of reasons why it is important and necessary to dispose the pharmaceutical waste. Several main top reasons for proper disposal are: the health of workers and patients, the reputation of facility, and the facility’s bottom dollar due to increased fines being imposed if hazardous waste is not disposed of properly.

Glycon realizes the policies and regulations that surround medical waste removal and medical waste disposal. Let Glycon take the efforts and stress out of managing your facility’s medical waste flow.

Glycon offers safe, compliant, and affordable solutions customized to fit your requirements. Give Glycon a call today at (844) 494-8222

Which Pharmaceutical Drugs are Considered Hazardous Waste?

A great number of prescription drugs are allocated throughout the U.S every day. Many go unused by the prescribed patients who are left to wonder how to dispose of these pharmaceuticals in a right way. Wrong disposal of pharmaceutical drugs classified as dangerous can cause negative impacts on the environment and even the health of individuals around them. In accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there exist nearly 30 commercial chemical products. They are listed on the dangerous waste lists that are used pharmaceutic ally. However, a lot of people are unaware of which pharmaceuticals contain these chemical compositions.

A hard waste is considered hazardous waste if it meets a listing or exhibits a characteristic described in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 261. The best way to describe it is to see if the waste exhibits one or more of these four characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity. When the time of a pharmaceutical drug expired and you throw them away. You should check to see if it contains a hazardous chemical that needs specific methods of disposal.

Visit Washington Department of Ecology Website to see the full article on which pharmaceutical drugs constitute as dangerous waste

The Department of Ecology website gives you an overview of which pharmaceuticals constitute as hazardous waste, together a list of generic prescription names you can search.


Get Free, No Obligation Quotes on Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Today!

To get free quotes on regulated waste disposal, fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (844) 494-8222.

What Should I Do With My Old Prescription Drugs?

Households, healthcare facilities, and pharmacies like many others acquire a stock of medications. These medications lose their validity or become undesired over time, anyway simply throwing old prescription drugs in the trash may bring to severe consequences.

Prescriptions that are not safely disposed of can do harm to individuals who may by chance or intentionally consume them, and can release toxic chemicals into the environment if they make it to the landfill. Glycon Medical Waste offers safe pharmaceutical waste disposal services for your convenience so your medications aren’t  at risk of being dangerous to individuals or the environment.

Now we will look at how improper disposal of old prescription drugs can have harmful repercussions and why some disposal practices may not be sufficient enough to prevent these negative consequences.

How Are Old Prescription Drugs Harmful to Others?

Therefore, medications are safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, they may cause serious damage to an individual when they fall into the wrong hands. Those people who have a weakened immune system – infants, the elderly, and pets – and those who intentionally abuse prescription drugs all may face serious health risks when these medications are accidentally or intentionally consumed.

Kids and young children are curious and they are eager to know and examine everything, and may put anything into their mouths that they may think is a candy. This is very dangerous because they intentionally may consume any toxic pharmaceuticals simply because they don’t know better. A report by SafeKids.org found in 2012 that approximately 64,000 emergency medical visits involved a child who had been exposed to medicine. That means one incident every eight minutes.

The same may happen to pets, as most animals pick up anything they think is food. Older individuals may become confused and mistakenly take the wrong medications, and intentional abusers can easily cause life-threatening harm to themselves and others

How Is the Environment Impacted?

Medications may pose a threat to the environment as they are chemical substances. Based on the Associated Press in 2008, pharmaceutical drugs were present in the drinking water of approximately 41 million Americans.

For the same reasons you wouldn’t throw away old batteries or paint thinner, you shouldn’t throw away prescription medications. These chemicals leach into the environment and can have significant implications on present and future generations.

How Should I Dispose of My Old Prescription Drugs?

People dispose medications in many ways, but only a few ways are considered to be proper. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to getting rid of your old medications:

Don’t combine your medications with an “undesirable” material—like kitty litter or coffee grounds— before throwing them away. You can’t know by whom these medications may be found and consumed accidentally or otherwise, and this doesn’t protect the environment from poisoning either.

Don’t crush your medications to render them useless before throwing them away. Many medications are designed to dissolve slowly into your body so as to avoid overdosing. When you crush medications, you risk exposing yourself and the environment to inhaling the dust of these medications, thus consuming a higher dosage than intended.

If your crush medications you may cause crumbs and chunks of medications to spread about the area as well, which will make it easy for children and pets to picked them up. This also does nothing to prevent these chemicals from entering the environment.

Don’t throw away your medications down the toilet. If you do so it will see those chemicals just to the water treatment center, where these drugs are not always filtered out before re-entering the drinking supply.

There exists a restricted amount of information regarding how drugs in our drinking water impacts public health. Unless there is an emergency situation and you must dispose of medications immediately, it is much more beneficial to simply store your medications in a locked, secluded container and dispose of them properly.

Do store your medications in a securely locked, well-hidden container that is out-of-reach until you can dispose of them properly. Get used to collecting your medications for large-volume disposals rather than throwing them away on a pill-by-pill basis, and stay alert in protecting them from falling into the wrong hands.

Do take your tablets to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency take-back events. DEA authorities will handle your prescription medication disposal for you, but these events don’t take place regularly and may not be available in all areas.

Get Free, No-Obligation Quotes on Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Today

Glycon Medical Waste Disposal Service can help you process a program that prevent your prescriptions of the wrong hands.