Is there a better way to safely dispose of pharmaceutical waste?

The Health Select Committee is currently considering the petition of Anthony Roberts and 40 others. The petition requests that the House of Representatives implement a national solution to pharmaceutical waste management.

Pills going to trash Enlarge image

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Recently the Health Committee heard evidence about how to better dispose of pharmaceutical waste. There were a number of stakeholders who submitted and they raised a number of interesting points for the committee to consider.

Who submitted?

What did they say?

Some of the mains points that have been discussed with the committee include:

  • The current regional approach to the pharmaceutical waste management process

  • The way in which waste management is funded by District Health Boards

  • The amount of medicine that can be distributed from a pharmacy at one time

  • The capabilities of waste management companies to destroy pharmaceutical waste by high-temperature incineration

  • The potential environmental risks associated with pharmaceutical waste management

  •  Overseas examples of effective pharmaceutical waste management processes

What happens next?

The committee will consider the evidence and information that has been provided. Once consideration has been completed then a report will be written that may or may not make any recommendations. The committee can make a recommendation to anyone it wishes, but they are most commonly addressed to the Government, the House of Representatives or to other groups. Recommendations are not binding and only recommendations to the Government require a response.