[Pharmwaste] Re: Pharmwaste Digest, Vol 45, Issue 3

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Mon Jul 13 12:04:05 EDT 2009

We have been asked this question in the past and below is the response we
developed with help from the Florida Department of Health: 

Thank you for your inquiry about how a school should dispose of student
medicines that have not been claimed by the parent/guardian at the end of a
school year.  We collaborated at an earlier date about this question with
colleagues in the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Board of
Pharmacy to ensure that our guidance agreed with their applicable regulations
as well as our agency's regulations.


    First and foremost, the school should make sure that our disposal
recommendations (below) do not conflict with any specific policies or
procedures of their school or school district. The school may have liability,
insurance, etc. concerns of which we are not aware that warrant or mandate a
different method of disposal of these medications. If there is a specific
policy for the school or school district, that policy should be followed.


    Absent a specific school or school district policy or procedure, we
recommend that the school make a good effort to return these unused
medications to the parent/guardian (not to the student due to the potential
for misuse and its attendant liability for the school). If the school can get
them back to the parents, provide the parents with a copy of our disposal
guidance (attached). 


    For those medications that, for whatever reason, the school cannot get
back to the parents, the school should follow our disposal guidance
(attached).  That disposal guidance recommends disposal of the medications in
the trash, after taking precautions to prevent intentional or unintentional
misuse.  Those precautions include removing the patient name and prescription
number from the label; mixing in a substance to render the medication
unusable or unrecognizable; and sealing and disguising the medication
container.   These medications should not be flushed down a toilet or a


Our unused medication disposal guidance and other information is available on
our medications web in English and Spanish at


From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of William More
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 11:44 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] Re: Pharmwaste Digest, Vol 45, Issue 3


Does anyone know what School Nurses do with left over prescriptions at the
end of the school term/year? Epipens? Inhalers? Drugs? Is anyone aware of a
school district disposing of the same?  Were they properly disposed?  Epipens
are also Sharps?

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