This month, healthcare professionals from around the world gathered virtually at the International Health Facility Diversion Association’s (IHFDA) Annual Conference to discuss the prevention, detection, and proper response for drug diversion by healthcare personnel. The three-day meeting included a variety of keynotes, case study presentations, panel discussions, and time to connect with exhibitors to share solutions, knowledge, and insight about this major healthcare challenge.
Stericycle’s Cara Simaga, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, spoke on Wednesday, September 22 on the topic of regulatory requirements, from both the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), related to disposal of controlled substances.
Cara has more than a decade of experience in the medical waste management industry and has expertise in regulatory compliance, including proper pharmaceutical waste disposal. Cara’s keynote presentation discussed EPA and DEA requirements for disposing of controlled substances by healthcare facilities and at home.
Session attendees learned that controlled substance waste disposal depends on where the waste was generated (i.e. healthcare vs. household) and the type of waste (inventory, wastage, or home generated). They also learned that the EPA and DEA have regulations on controlled substance waste disposal—such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA)—which needs to be considered when assessing disposal options.
Cara also discussed best practices for minimizing the risk of diversion, including:
- Development of detailed written policies
- Use of designated wastage areas and containers
- Monitoring for compliance
- Employee education and ongoing assessment
Following these regulations and established best practices can help healthcare facilities prevent diversion and abuse.
Learn more about how Stericycle can help your organization ensure compliant and efficient pharmaceutical waste management.