Think hard before you throw out that next piece of trash. Each American generates around 4.4 pounds of trash each day, of which around 1.51 pounds is recycled, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Proper processing of pharmaceutical drug products that are removed from the marketplace is known as Pharmaceutical Reverse Logistics.
WDSrx provides third party logistics services and value-added solutions to the life sciences industry. The Boca-Raton, FL based firm is authorized by the DEA as a Reverse Logistics company to lawfully remove pharmaceutical drug products from the marketplace for return to the manufacturer or for regulatory compliant disposition.
Responsible handling of medications is an important consideration for patients and others who have access to drug products. They are dangerous when not used properly by their intended recipient.
There are many benefits to assisting with the proper disposal of pharmaceutical drug products:
- Minimize Diversion – Many patients do not finish their prescriptions making the remaining medication easily accessible to people who may harm themselves or who may do harm to others
- Environmental Protection – According to one study, over $5 billion worth of drugs in unopened packages are placed into the garbage annually. Products returned through proper channels are kept out of landfills and reduces potential contamination of land and water from unapproved disposal methods
- Decrease Drug Abuse – When unused and expired medications are removed promptly from the marketplace, the supply of drugs with the potential for abuse is reduced
- Safety and Security – Effective return of pharmaceutical drug products helps keep them off the streets, contributing to safer neighborhoods
- Following Regulations – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) support the responsible disposal of medicines by using Take-Back Programs or by Authorized Collection Agents
The process of handling products removed from the marketplace is overseen by WDSrx Reverse Logistics Manager Jason Solomon. Jason works with manufacturers and healthcare providers to arrange for drugs to arrive at the facility located in Boca Raton, FL.
Drug products received in the pharmaceutical reverse logistics department are itemized and the details are recorded for each shipment. Every item goes through a screening process to determine whether it is suitable for return or disposition. Items set for destruction are accompanied to a special facility run by Covanta Environmental Solutions that is authorized by the DEA to properly dispose of pharmaceutical drug products.
According to Kip Buckley, Solutions Sales Manager at Covanta, “Covanta works with WDSrx to find sustainable solutions to their waste management disposal needs. We take drug products and transform them into renewable energy to power homes and businesses.” Solomon agrees. “The pharmaceutical reverse logistics process is environmentally conscious and socially responsible. Our team and our supply chain partners including Covanta take our responsibilities seriously, helping maintain the integrity of the entire pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Prior to disposing and recycling, waste is weighed and documented for accuracy. Covanta produces a waste generation summary for WDSrx showing the quantity of waste processed and converted to energy. The WDSrx headquarters facility in Boca Raton, FL recycled 189 tons of pharmaceutical drug products in 2016 creating 368 megawatt hours of electricity able to power 33 homes for an entire year.
Covanta has been successfully helping the environment through their Energy-from-Waste operations and procedures. They processed and recycled over 43 tons of confiscated materials with most being illegal substances. Disposing pharmaceuticals by flushing them down the toilet poses a risk to our water supply. Furthermore, Covanta’s operations are safer for the environment because they keep waste out of landfills.
The partnership between WDSrx and Covanta Environmental Solutions preserves the environment, generates clean energy and prevents diversion of pharmaceutical drug products.