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Patient

Content :

Social responsibilityPatient Information Regarding Disposal
of Sharps and Medical Waste

At Sanofi U.S., we recognize the importance of proper disposal of sharps (see "What is a sharp?" below) and medications for patients and for the environment. Patients are at the heart of our activities, and this includes assisting patients looking for resources containing information on how to better use and dispose of our products. Sanofi U.S. has gathered information and guidance from external sources relating to proper disposal of products to help you in your search.

Improper disposal of medicines and sharps, such as throwing sharps unprotected into the trash, can be dangerous to patients and others who may unknowingly be place at risk. Protecting the public from improper disposal of sharps has become an increasingly important issue and several states have passed or are considering legislation to make it illegal to dispose of sharps in household trash.

What is a sharp?

A sharp is generally any hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous needle, lancet, or other device used to penetrate the skin to assist in assessment or treatment of a condition or delivery of medication.

Proper Disposal of Medicines
Proper Disposal of Sharps

Proper Disposal of Medicines

Keep medicine in its original container. Use a heavy marker or other item to completely cover personal information on prescription bottles.
Mix liquid medicine with undesirable substances like coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt. Dilute pills with water, and then add coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt.
Place bottles in an opaque container, like a yogurt container, with a secure lid; or wrap them in a dark colored plastic bag
Hide the container in the trash. Do NOT recycle.
Do NOT dispose of medication down the drain or toilet.
Do NOT keep excess or expired medication around the home.

Keep all medications out of reach of children.

More information is available on the internet, we suggest starting with a, visit to these websites:

Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/needledisposal/
Food and Drug Administration Guidance: How to Dispose of Unused Medicines
White House Guidance: Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs
SmaRxt Disposal: Responsible Medication Disposal Safeguards Lives and Protects the Environment

You may also try searching your state or municipal website for additional information or requirements relating to disposal of medications or sharps.

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Proper Disposal of Sharps

Used sharps should be placed in sharps containers and taken to appropriate collection sites that may include doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies, health departments, fire stations or other locations.

Call the local solid waste department or public health department for information on correct sharps disposal in your area. These may be referred to as drop boxes or supervised collection sites.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they offer disposal, or if they know of safe disposal programs in the area.

Visit the States page of EPA's Wastes Web site for links to state health and solid waste/sanitation department contacts.

Visit the Center for Disease Control's Safe Community Needle Disposal which provides state-by-state and territory-by-territory summaries of the laws and regulations affecting the labeling, transportation, and disposal of used needles and other sharps in the community.

If you are still having difficulty finding the right method of disposal that works for you, you may want to look into:

Mail-Back Programs: Patients place their used sharps in special containers and return the container by mail to a collection site for proper disposal. There is usually a fee for this type of service. You may find some mail back options by checking with your health care provider, pharmacist, yellow pages, or searching the Internet using keywords "sharps mail back."

Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP) Patients who use sharps exchange used needles for new needles.

Needle Destruction Devices Several manufacturers offer products that allow patients to destroy used needles at home by severing, burning or melting the needle, rendering it safe for disposal. Again, check with your pharmacist or search the Internet using keywords "sharps disposal devices." Prices vary.

More information is available on the internet, we suggest starting with a visit to these websites:

EPA Sharps Disposal Information: Disposals of Medical Sharps

Information for patients complying with CA sharps disposal law:

California Sharps Disposal Website: Sharps Waste Disposal

Plan for Support of Safe Collection and Proper Disposal of Waste From Self-Injected Home Medications Including Sharps

Information for patients complying with MA sharps disposal law:

Massachusetts Proper Use and Disposal of Syringes: Medical Waste

You may also try searching your state or municipal website for additional information or requirements relating to disposal of medications or sharps.

To obtain more information about our global CSR efforts within Patient, please click on the following link: http://CSRReporting.sanofi.com

Last update: July 12, 2011