Ecopharmacovigillance aspect of unwanted and expired medications in Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Background and objective: Unwanted and expired medications are accumulated at the homes and the community Pharmacies due to many reasons. Improper disposal and its hazardous impact on the environment is one of the major issues. This study aimed to identify the currently followed methods of disposing expired/unused medications at the homes and the community pharmacies and to report the response of the pharmacists regarding disposal of medications in Sulaimani city.
Methods: This study was carried out between July 2015 and February 2016. A total of 145 houses and 62 pharmacies were observed utilizing a self-administered questionnaire. All expired/unwanted drugs were quantitatively analyzed.
Results: The results revealed that 95.2% of respondents throw away their unwanted pharmaceuticals in the garbage. Around 41% of respondents showed their awareness of the potential harm to the environment by improper disposal of medication while 59.3% were unaware. Most participants (91%) believed that returning expired/unused medications to a community pharmacy is a proper way for disposal of them. Around 39% of the community pharmacies throw away the expired medications in the garbage, while 46.8% of them returned them to the suppliers. Additionally, 58.1% of the community pharmacists agreed to use their workplace as a collection point for collecting expired/unused medications.
Conclusion: High amount of expired/unused medications were kept in the households that necessitate establishing a procedure for disposal that ensures safety to human and environment. There was good interest in the collection of unused medications for proper disposal in the community pharmacies.
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