DEA Scheduled II-V Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Office of Diversion Control (21 CFR 1304, regulates the disposal of DEA scheduled substances. This office’s primary goal is to eliminate the diversion of legitimately manufactured and/or used scheduled substances into channels of illicit drug traffic. DEA scheduled substances may only be obtained and transferred by those personnel or organizations that have a DEA registration number. DEA regulations require that you keep a detailed record of all incoming and outgoing scheduled drugs. In addition, they require DEA licensed agents for the destruction of all schedule drugs, utilizing the proper DEA procedures and government forms.

For over two decades, the DEA has recognized Pharmaceutical Returns Service (PharmReturns) as a licensed agent of the DEA certified to perform the destruction of schedule drug waste “witness burns.” PharmReturns is on the DEA’s Preferred Vendor list for the handling and destruction of scheduled pharmaceuticals.

Since the DEA has stopped providing the service of “witness” destructions at the registrant’s location, we have seen a surge in the industry seeking our specialized assistance with the proper disposal of their scheduled waste. From the manufacturer to the distributor and onto the pharmacy, hospital or healthcare professionals… they are all using Pharmaceutical Returns Service to dispose of their scheduled substances

PharmReturns keeps it simple

Pharmaceutical Returns Service ends the liability chain for you while keeping you in complete compliance with all DEA scheduled drug destruction regulations. You are assigned a DEA Compliance specialist to guide you through the entire disposal process of your scheduled pharmaceuticals. You will receive reports on the status of your schedule drug destruction as well as a complete itemized list of all the items destroyed, DEA regulatory compliance forms and a Certificate of Destruction upon the completion of your schedule drug destruction.

List of the DEA scheduled substances

Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

With the new water testing techniques, pharmaceuticals are now being detected in water and soil by scientists throughout the United States. A recent U.S. Geological Survey study found pharmaceutical contaminants in 80 percent of 139 streams sampled in 30 states.

Many pharmaceuticals have components with characteristics that cause them to be designated as hazardous waste when disposed. Federally regulated hazardous waste includes lists of certain discarded pharmaceuticals with hazardous characteristics such as toxicity, corrosivity, ignitability or reactivity. In addition, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) has identified the following drug classifications as hazardous waste: P-listed and U-listed pharmaceuticals, as well as pharmaceuticals containing heavy metals and mercury.

PharmReturns proprietary software and cross-referencing pharmaceutical waste databases evaluates the chemical makeup of these pharmaceuticals and enables us to properly sort these drugs into the proper hazardous or non-hazardous waste container for storage and proper incineration by hazardous waste classification.

Non-hazardous waste such as trace chemotherapy waste, non-hazardous medications and over the counter medication (OTC) are disposed of at a PharmReturns preferred licensed medical waste incinerator.

Hazardous waste incineration must be used for pharmaceutical waste with hazardous characteristics such as, toxicity, corrosivity, ignitability, reactivity and P-listed and U-listed pharmaceuticals. PharmReturns has contracted with multiple hazardous waste incinerators across the country to ensure the proper disposal of these items in the most cost effective manner.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

PharmReturns is also licensed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to accomplish the legal and safe destruction of these hazardous and non-hazardous pharmaceuticals in complete compliance with each federal and state agency’s specific regulations. When you dispose of your pharmaceutical waste through PharmReturns, you can rest assured that we are using the “best practices” in the most environmentally responsible way to destroy your pharmaceutical waste and end your liability. When the liability for your waste is transferred to PharmReturns, you will receive full itemized documentation, waste manifests, and waste disposal certificates for your records, which can be used for EPA inspections.

Non-Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal from the Home

If you have unused pharmaceuticals at your home that need to be destroyed you should contact us and ask about our, “pharmaceutical return/take-back programs.” 

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