Disposal of Unused and Expired Medicines within the Sunyani Municipality of Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Survey

The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is a global challenge. Pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics and analgesics have been reported in various environmental matrices at varying concentrations. ,e major disposal route for unused and expired pharmaceuticals in Ghana is throwing them into dustbins. Although there are laws on the proper disposal patterns of drugs, these laws are poorly implemented. Sunyani is a fast-growing community with several health facilities that dispense medications daily. The purchase and use of medications among households are also high. However, no data exist on the disposal patterns of pharmaceuticals within the Sunyani Municipality. ,is study aims to identify the disposal patterns for unused and expired medications by households and pharmacies within the Sunyani Municipality, Ghana. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 persons in homes and 35 persons from randomly selected pharmacies and over-the-counter medication shops (OTCMs) within the Sunyani Municipality. A face-to-face interview approach using structured questionnaires for each respondent was employed. Household respondents disposed of unused and expired medications mainly through dumping in garbage cans (70.8%), incineration (11.5%), and <ushing down the sink (9%). Pharmaceutical shop respondents also disposed of unused and expired medications into dump cans, by incineration, through the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana, and took back to pharmaceutical wholesalers. Disposal practices observed in this study by households and pharmacy respondents were largely inappropriate. This could be due to the lack of education on the proper disposal patterns available to these respondents. It is recommended that guidelines on safe disposal be put in place, and a structured procedure for collecting unused and expired pharmaceuticals should be introduced.
This is an article published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.
Journal of Environmental and Public Health Volume 2022, Article ID 6113346, 7 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/