Complying with the multiple, and often conflicting, regula- tions guiding pharmaceutical waste management is clearly a significant challenge for health-system pharmacists. Often current practices are based on old habits, rather than best practices. Compliance is also complicated by decades-old regulations that have not kept up with an-ever changing pharmacy environment.
The first step to improving pharmaceutical waste manage- ment is examining current practices. To do this, in the third quarter of 2008, PP&P polled a random, nationwide sam- pling of health-system directors of pharmacy. Responses were solicited via e-mail and a total of 205 were received, yielding a confidence interval of 6.71% (95% +/-6.71%), based on the total population of pharmacy directors nation- wide. Respondents represent a cross-section of hospital pharmacy practitioners.
Just as the EPA is now looking to define current practices in waste management, PP&P undertook this survey to identi- fy common practices and highlight some of the areas in need of improvement within pharmaceutical waste management.
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