The study of the level of awareness of the healthcare professionals concerning the problems of disposal of unused medicines
Keywords:level of awareness, unused medicines, utilization, improper handling, pollution with pharmaceutical waste
Aim. To determine the level of awareness of the healthcare professionals concerning the environmental hazards of improper disposal of unused medicines and study the world’s practice of pharmaceutical waste collection from the population for further safe disposal.
Materials and methods. Materials of the research are the results of the survey using a questionnaire. The analytical-comparative, systemic, logical, mathematical-statistical methods and the questionnaire method were used.
Results. Based on the results of a pilot survey of the healthcare professionals on the problems of disposal of unused medicines it has been found that only 47 % of the total sample of the respondents are aware of detection of medicinal substances in water bodies around the world, only 51 % of the respondents are aware of the potential danger to the environment associated with unwanted and expired drugs as part of common household waste and sewage (sewerage). There is the low level of awareness (28 % of the respondents) regarding the programs for collecting unused medicines from the population implemented in the developed countries of the world. At the same time, 81 % of the respondents agree that they are responsible for protecting the environment, but only 65 % of the respondents are ready to participate in programs to return unused medicines via pharmacies.
Conclusions. According to the results of the pilot study conducted among the specialists of the healthcare industry (Kharkiv and Sumy region) the low level of knowledge concerning the world practices of the proper disposal of unused medicines and the low level of awareness regarding the consequences of pharmaceutical waste release to the environment have been found. The need to improve the level of special knowledge on the disposal of drugs and programs for the return of unused medicines has been proven.
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