Published: 2020-02-25

A study to assess the knowledge and awareness regarding safe disposal of pharmaceutical wastes among 2nd year medical and para-medical students in a tertiary care teaching hospital in North India

Shweta Kachhap, Gajendra K. Singh, Emmanuel A. Soreng, Rani K. Beck, Upendra Kumar


Background: The use of pharmaceutical products in our day to day life is escalating and one cannot deny their presence in every household. Unfortunately not all the medicines that reach our homes get consumed. Unused, unwanted and expired drugs get accumulated over time and are generally disposed along with other household trash thus contributing to environmental pollution. This turns our attention towards the significance of eco-pharmacovigilance. Assessing the level of knowledge and awareness of students under training  as health care professionals  regarding safe disposal of pharmaceutical wastes can help us to partly assess the magnitude of the problem of inappropriate disposal methods and help us to plan and initiate steps to prevent the hazards caused by improper disposal of these items.

Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional study was conducted among medical and paramedical students of a tertiary care teaching hospital using a pre-validated questionnaire from previous studies.

Results: Majority of the participants were not aware of the possible hazards of improper disposal of pharmaceutical wastes. They expressed the need for awareness programs regarding the subject.

Conclusions: The study revealed the practice of drug accumulation at home. The disposal methods opted by the participants were not the recommended methods. There is a need to address this issue through awareness programs at various levels.


Awareness, Eco-pharmacovigilance, Knowledge, Pharmaceutical products, Safe disposal

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