This article serves to introduce some of the issues that the pharmacy industry faces regarding sustainable practices and how to address them. The industry of pharmacy creates waste and pollution via improper drug disposal, medication waste, and operational waste. Thus, it is important for the industry to look towards reducing waste and pollution in order to increase sustainability, benefitting both patients and the world at large.1, 2 Pharmacy is moving towards a more sustainable future, but balancing the needs of patients, legal requirements, economic considerations, and the safety and efficacy of medication poses a difficult task. To address many of these needs, policy changes at state and federal levels will need to be implemented, but these can take years. Community pharmacists have the ability to make meaningful changes now when they interact directly with patients at the counter. Educating patients about the importance of appropriate drug use, their options regarding drug-take backs, and paperless methods of communication can improve awareness for and address these issues by making adjustments at the community level first. Drug waste can be minimized and then disposed of properly. The paper and plastic waste inherently part of pharmacy business operations can be reduced. Electronic methods of information delivery such as electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) and computerized documentation can be implemented. The plastic composing medication stock bottles can be recycled and repurposed.3 Though various barriers exist in implementing such changes, these issues can be addressed by pharmacists immediately while legislation changes occur in the long run.
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Do, T., & Novakowski, J. (2020). Sustainable Pharmacy: A Regimen for the Future. D.U.Quark, 4 (2). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/duquark/vol4/iss2/1