Ecopharmacovigilance in practice: design of an intervention - the drug disposal flow diagram

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Ecopharmacovigilance has been said to describe the science and activities associated with the detection, evaluation, understanding and prevention of adverse effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment. Disposal practices utilised by consumers and players in the pharmaceutical value in dealing with unused and expired products contribute to having pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in water sources and other environmental media. A number of strategies have been implemented in different parts of the world to tackle the presence and persistence of pharmaceuticals in the environment. In order to effectively implement successful strategies in any setting, the context of the community in which the strategy is to be implemented is important. This study explores the disposal methods used, assesses the role of regulation on disposal practices and seeks to introduce a new tool, which incorporates the relevant context, to be utilised in the implementation of EPV in Ghana. The study found that there are gaps in the legislation governing the disposal of pharmaceuticals; the methods used for disposal result in pharmaceuticals in the environment; and the Drug Disposal Flow Diagram is a cost effective method of tackling the problem of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Mphil) in Pharmacology.