Best management practices for pharmaceutical disposal


The AVMA recognizes pharmaceutical disposal as an important and complex issue and urges its members to:

  • Follow all applicable tribal, federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines for disposal of all pharmaceutical waste, and be aware that specific regulations apply to pharmaceutical waste such as that regulated as controlled substances or as hazardous, chemotherapeutic, trace chemotherapeutic, mixed, or radiologic waste.
  • Minimize pharmaceutical waste by maintaining close inventory control.
  • Never pour or flush pharmaceuticals down drains or toilets nor burn pharmaceutical waste unless permitted by authorities of oversight.
  • Segregate waste and utilize appropriate waste brokers, including reverse distributors whenever possible.
  • Train employees on proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
  • Provide client education on proper pharmaceutical disposal.

Related policy

Related resources​