Awareness and Disposal Practices of Unused and Expired Medication Among Health Care Professionals and Students in A Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital
Sangeetha Raja, Satyajit Mohapatra, A. Kalaiselvi and R. Jamuna Rani

Department of Pharmacology SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre Potheri Tamil Nadu, India.

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Abstract: Medicines play a very significant role for treating many diseases and conditions, but at the end of the treatment it is very important to dispose them of properly. So, the knowledge and awareness of proper drug disposal are essential for safe environment. Lack of knowledge and practice can lead to various problems like environmental pollution and various health hazards directly or indirectly. Hence, the study was aimed to assess the knowledge, practice, and awareness towards disposal of unused / expired drugs among healthcare professionals such as doctor, medical students, pharmacy students and nurses. This was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study conducted in a tertiary care teaching hospital. About 400 participants in each category were included in the study. The questionnaire consisted of three parts which included demography, and multiple choice questions related to knowledge and awareness of the drug disposal. The collected data was expressed in percentage. A total of 393 participants have completed the survey which includes 32% males and 68% females. It was found that the commonest discarding pattern of the expired/ unused medicines was through household trash (67%). A total of 349 (89%) were aware of the significance of improper disposal. It was observed that the participants 44(11.1%) had partial knowledge about proper drug disposal but there was a lack of practice 264 (67.1%) of safe disposal methods. This study aimed to create an awareness to bridge the lacunae between knowledge, practice of proper and environmental safe methods of disposing expired/ unused drugs among health care professionals.

Keywords: Cross Sectional Study; Drug Disposal; Expired Medicines; Unused Medicines

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