[Pharmwaste] drug samples

Catherine Zimmer zimme053 at umn.edu
Tue Nov 4 10:38:05 EST 2008

Hi All,
A couple of suggestions regarding sample policy:

   1. Make sure reps sign in.
   2. Prohibit short dated samples, e.g. those with expiration of less
      than one year.
   3. Only accept samples that are used.  Our MNTAP study identified the
      top ten used in five smaller MN clinics, see 
   4. Use a voucher system.

Catherine Zimmer
Health Care Specialist

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
University of Minnesota
612.624.4635, 800.247.0015

Helping Minnesota businesses maximize resource efficiency, increase energy efficiency, reduce costs, and prevent pollution

Megan Fakih wrote:
> My guess is the drug companies haven't done anything to facilitate the
> take back of expired samples and therefore, their reps don't know
> a thing about it.  The education on the subject is lacking.  That is
> why I was curious if anyone had sent their samples back to the
> manufacturer for destruction.  
> We are a large hospital in our region and feel that we could make the
> reps take the samples back as a part of our hospital policy.  I want
> this to be a collaboration between the hospital and the drug reps so we
> don't drive them away.  With the current economy the samples are nice
> for patients that need them and the physician practices won't consider
> not stocking samples for this reason.  
> I will keep you posted as we proceed forward with this "project". 
> Megan Fakih, RPh, MBA
> St Lawrence Campus
> Pharmacy Supervisor
> 1210 W Saginaw St
> Lansing, Mi 48915
> Phone: (517) 364-6341
>>>> "Jackson, Jennifer" <jacksonj at ebmud.com> 10/30/2008 12:35 PM >>>
> I'd suggest requesting from them the citation that their taking back
> the
> drugs is against the law. As far as I know, the only difficulty they
> would have is with taking back controlled substances. I'm guessing
> that
> it's rare that a controlled substance is given out as a sample, due to
> inventorying that would be required.
> Jen Jackson  |  Resource Recovery & Pollution Prevention Programs |
> East Bay Municipal Utility District  |  510.287.0818 |
> jacksonj at ebmud.com  
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Megan Fakih [mailto:Megan.Fakih at SPARROW.ORG] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:54 AM
> To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us 
> Subject: [Pharmwaste] Drug sample waste
> I work for a large hospital that has many family practice sites that
> accept drug samples.  We have tried several tactics to cut down on
> sample waste, like encouraging the offices to accept only the amount
> they can use, rotating stock, etc. but we still have waste.
> I have educated the offices on the FDA's Prescription Drug Marketing
> Act
> that allows the drug reps to facilitate the shipment of the samples
> back
> to the drug company for destruction.  Now as they talk to the reps
> about
> this, the reps are still saying it is against the law for them to
> deal with the samples.    I am wondering if anyone has successfully
> gotten these drug companies to destroy their own samples.  I realize I
> am probably forging new ground here but from a pharmacist perspective,
> I
> would like to see samples go away and vouchers that can be redeemed at
> the pharmacy take their place.  By forcing the drug companies to
> destroy
> these unused samples I feel we might be able to persuade the drug
> companies to turn to vouchers. 
> Does anyone have any advice for me? 
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