The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released a video illustrating best practices on the proper disposal of veterinary pharmaceuticals.

Six-steps outlined in the AVMA materials include:

  1. Incineration is best for disposing of unused pharmaceuticals
  2. Landfill unused pharmaceuticals when incineration is not feasible
  3. Never flush pharmaceuticals down the toilet or drain
  4. Maintain close inventory control
  5. Always follow federal and state guidelines
  6. Educate your clients on proper disposal

After reviewing the AVMA guidance which was developed in communication with EPA staff, the EPA cancelled its current plans to require that the healthcare industry, including veterinarians, complete a survey on how drugs are disposed of in veterinary facilities. Veterinarians are already good stewards of the environment, but AVMA’s guidance was developed to even further minimize drug waste in water.

 “When we saw the initial draft survey, we realized it was going to take our members approximately 40 hours to complete,” said Dr. Lynne White-Shim, assistant director of the scientific activities division of the AVMA. “We worked with a wide variety of councils, committees and staff members, including governmental relations, to arrive at a solution that satisfied EPA’s concerns while saving our members both time and money.”

 A six-step insert on how to properly dispose of pharmaceutical drugs was released in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

More information.