Korean J Clin Pharm.  2019 Dec;29(4):286-294. 10.24304/kjcp.2019.29.4.286.

Improvement of Waste Drug Management System by Comparing Domestic and Overseas Programs

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 38541, Republic of Korea. leeiynhyang@ynu.ac.kr


At the end of the"˜Waste Drug Disposal Project', collection and disposal of waste drugs remain a social issue.
This study aimed to provide suggestions to improve the drug waste management system in Korea by comparing domestic and overseas relevant programs. Methods: This is a comparative study between South Korea, Australia, Canada, France, and the US. These overseas countries were selected because they have been operating waste drug management programs continuously to date. Comparison was conducted by a pre-determined analysis frame including legal regulation, enforcement program and its performance.
All selected countries except Australia had legal regulations on drug wastes. The US had the largest variety of drug waste disposal methods. Canada had recommended that pharmacies actively participate in drug waste withdrawal programs. France had the largest variety of methods to promote relevant programs, including window sticker, SNS, and app, as well as the highest level of awareness and participation. Australia had the lowest level of awareness and participation in pharmaceutical waste management programs. Pharmaceutical companies took responsibility of paying for these programs in the selected overseas countries.
Further efforts should be made to establish a clear guideline including the role of pharmaceutical companies, and to develop various methods for the public to be aware of appropriate ways of disposing drug wastes in Korea.


Drug waste; drug disposal; drug withdrawal program; comparative analysis
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