Dubai, UAE: In the UAE, there are strict laws that govern proper disposal of medical waste but there are no rules regarding hazardous waste at home such as syringes used by diabetics for injecting insulin, or the proper way to dispose of blood-stained bandages.
Most of the time, these are thrown into the garbage can along with other household refuse. May people also get rid of expired medicines by flushing them down the toilet.
A large section of the population use over-the-counter medicines even for simple ailments such as the viral flu. Doctors say many patients also never take the full course of antibiotics, so that results in a number of pill boxes in the medicine cabinet at home that remain unused.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) was the first local body that began a campaign in 2012 on how to safely dispose of expired medicines and drugs that are no longer used. Last year, it relaunched the “Clean your Medicine Cabinet” campaign to help residents dispose of unused medicines or drugs that have expired.
These drugs can be dropped off at the pharmacies located at the 14 DHA Primary Health Care Centres, or at its hospitals such as Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital, Latifa Hospital and Hatta Hospital. For details of these pharmacies, log on to DHA’s website.
Experts first evaluate the medicines and those that can be used will be donated to charities, the DHA official said. The rest are disposed of in line with international pharmaceutical guidelines.
A senior DHA official says that storing expired drugs at home is a safety hazard. It could lead to inadvertant consumption in an inattentive moment and this is dangerous as some medicines turn toxic with time. The best practice is to dispose of medicines when they expire.
Dos and dont’s of handling expired medicines
© Gulf NewsAug 2014