- Guidelines for Disposing Pharmaceuticals and Medical Materials
- Tips for Preventing Expired Drugs and Medical Materials
Noncontrolled substance disposal
The UW-Madison Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) group will pick up expired non-DEA regulated pharmacy items. To use this service:
- Visit the EHS website to print the Surplus Chemical Form.
- Enter all of the substances for disposal on the form.
- Complete the online Chemical Waste/Surplus Pickup Request Form.
For help, contact EH&S at (608) 265-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note: UW-Madison Chemical Safety officers are not authorized to pick up controlled substances.
Controlled substance disposal
Controlled substances must be disposed of in a manner that permanently and irreversibly alters the substance's physical or chemical state, rendering the drug unavailable and unusable (nonretrievable). Flushing substances down a drain or mixing with kitty litter or coffee grounds and disposing as solid waste, is not permitted. DEA Form 41 is required for controlled substance disposal.
Visit the DEA Office of Diversion Control website for regulatory information and resources.
For disposal instructions, contact Sarah Johnson-Schlueter: (608) 263-4861 or email@example.com or contact DEA directly at (608) 210-4334 or DEA.Registration.Help@usdoj.gov.
Storing of substances awaiting disposal
Separate expired substances from in-date and in-use drugs by placing them in a small container or plastic bag. If you have large stocks of expired or waste controlled substances, use a second lockbox to provide segregation.
Clearly label expired or waste materials with "Expired - Do Not Use in Live Animals."
Store controlled drugs awaiting disposal in the drug lockbox. You must include them in your inventory reports and count them towards your total inventory on hand while they remain in your possession.
Expired materials and terminal studies
Some expired medical materials may be used for terminal studies if they will not affect the health and well-being of the animal or jeopardize the scientific integrity of the experiment. These materials must be stored away from non-expired materials and labeled appropriately.
Expired anesthesia, analgesia, euthanasia, or emergency drugs may never be used in any vertebrate animal.
Donating Expired Materials
Some expired medical materials may be able to be donated and used for non-research purposes. Organizations that may accept these materials include but are not limited to Resource Reallocation for the Advancement of Accessible Care and WisCARES. If you choose to consider donating your materials, it is strongly recommended that you thoroughly research each organization before donating. Contact the organizations directly for specific details about what they will and will not accept as donations. RARC will not accept items for donation.
Colored Dot Identification System
RARC veterinary staff developed a colored dot system to help investigators identify drugs and materials before they expire.
How it works:
- Apply a colored dot sticker to any item with an expiration date. Each color corresponds with a different year and the month of expiration is written in the center.
- Check all your drugs and supplies at the end of each month and remove any items that will expire at the beginning of the next month. We recommend that you document each monthly check.
- Use recurring automatic calendar alerts to remind staff to check drugs and supplies.
Some tips for successfully using the colored dot system:
- Place the sticker so that it covers as little of the original label as possible. Avoid obscuring the name, contents, uses, directions, warnings, storage instructions, expiration date, etc.
- Place stickers on clean and dry items and press firmly when you put them in place. If the sticker falls off, try placing a piece of scotch tape over it or use colored laboratory tape instead.
- Ask your RARC veterinary technician for a special pen for writing on dark labels.
- Put the sticker on the outside of a cabinet, drawer, or container if your materials are stored inside.
- If your materials are in a box containing multiple items, put the sticker on the outside of the box, then on the individual container as it's removed from the box.
- Note that when a label gives an expiration month, the item expires at the end of the month.
- If an item's expiration date is in the middle of a month, put a color code for the previous month on the item. At the end of that month, assess your situation:
- If you think you will use the item before it expires, make a note to ensure the item is disposed of on or before the expiration date.
- If you don't think you will use the item before it expires, dispose of it.
Contact your veterinary staff to obtain colored stickers and key codes to post in your lab.