Patients and R.Ph.s should do their part to reduce drug waste in our water supply

May 2, 2008

A Drug Topics survey found that respondents think patients and pharmacists can curb the level of water pollution from drug waste.

How do you feel about the recent Associated Press series which found a large number of pharmaceuticals in our water supply? Drug Topics posed that question in its April online Instant Poll. A total of 522 people responded to the survey. More than a third of respondents (37%) said patients should be taught about the proper disposal of unused medications so that they don’t pollute our water supply. Another one third (36%) said more pharmacies should get involved in take-back programs for unwanted medications to ensure that they are disposed of properly. One out of 10 respondents dismissed the AP series, saying the level of medications in our water supply is so low that there’s no need to be unduly alarmed by it. Finally, 8% of respondents believe that patients should be dosed at the lowest level that is adequate for efficacy to reduce the excretion of drugs into our water supply.

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