Assessment of the Consumers’ Attitude towards Leftover and Expired Medications at Homes
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The problem of unused medicines is widespread throughout the world, with complex causes and multiple effects on the cost of healthcare, public health, and environment. All over the world, individuals and families dispose a variety of unused and expired medications in their homes. Expired medications and those medicines which are not needed anymore, should not be kept at home. Plentiful of the unused ‘left over’ medications go to waste in United Arab Emirates (UAE) although the medications are strictly regulated.
This study was conducted to identify the extent of medication use and wastage at homes of senior pharmacy students and to determine the attitude and practices of patients towards unused medications and storage conditions and the factors that can cause leaving the medicines unused at homes.
A cross-sectional study in which a bilingual questionnaire was used and administered through content-setting interviews and the total number of collected questionnaires was 100 and a pilot survey was conducted among male and female senior Pharmacy students’ households from Ajman University during the year 2013–2014. For each household studied, medications collected were categorized according to their pharmacologic or therapeutic class. The data were processed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 20).
The results show that (74%) had unused medications in their homes and the most commonly leftover medications were the CNS medications followed by anti-infective drugs and gastrointestinal drugs (28%, 20% and 15%) respectively and the majority of respondents (53%) had expired medications at home. Most of respondents (80%) didn't hear about the green bins before, but most of them (88%) are willing to use it after being informed about it. The majority of respondents (68%) are un-aware of the harmful impact of medication wastage on the environment.
The majority of respondents kept the medications out of reach of children and a high practice of keeping unused medication at home was observed which gives some warning concerns about more generalized population. The majority of respondents are un-aware of the harmful impact of medications on the environment and the most commonly reported method of disposal of expired and unused medications was by throwing the drugs into dustbin followed by flashing it in the toilet.
Leftover, Un-used, Expired, Medications, storage, Discarding, Green Bins.