Reporter investigates the problem of drug disposal after stockpiling

  What should I do if I can't use up all the medicines stockpiled at home?

  ● Medicines have a shelf life, and there are certain conditions for storage. If there are too many medicines in the home, improper storage will easily deteriorate, and even cause children to eat them by mistake; too many medicines will cause waste if they are stored for a long time; if they are discarded randomly, they may also pollute the environment. Harm to people, animals and plants

  ● Many places have issued implementation plans for the recycling of expired drugs in households, and established a system for recycling expired drugs in households.

In addition, many places have explored the dismantling and retail sales of medicines.

However, the practical effect of both models is not ideal

  ● In addition to improving the recycling mechanism, more attention should be paid to source control. In the future, drug dismantling and retail sales should be further promoted, and citizens should be guided to establish a scientific and rational concept of drug purchase and use, rationally prepare drugs, conduct regular inspections, and properly dispose of them

  □ Our reporter Zhang Shoukun

  Recently, some netizens shared a video: It was found that a large amount of ibuprofen was thrown in the trash can downstairs together with other medicines. These medicines were not opened. It is conservatively estimated that there are hundreds of boxes.

Another netizen posted about the 1,000 tablets of antipyretics he bought, but because they arrived late, they lost their use, and how to deal with them became a problem.

Since then, "hundreds of boxes of ibuprofen were thrown into the trash can" appeared on Weibo's hot search, together with many similar incidents before, sparked discussions on related topics such as "how harmful are expired medicines" and "how to deal with too much medicine". discuss.

  Medicines have a shelf life, and there are certain requirements for storage. If there are too many medicines in the home, improper storage will easily deteriorate, and even cause children to eat them by mistake; too many medicines will cause waste if they are stored for a long time; if they are discarded randomly, they may pollute the environment and harm people. harm to flora and fauna.

  What to do with an excess of home medicines, many of which are new in production?

The "Rule of Law Daily" reporter launched an investigation.

  Difficulty dealing with overstocking of medicines

  It is not advisable to resell and discard

  "Before, I hoarded a large box of medicines all at once. After calming down, I found that I couldn't take them at all. I left them as useless and threw them away. I really don't know what to do with them."

  Not long ago, Li Chen, who lives in Shanghai, showed reporters the various medicines she bought in December last year.

Ibuprofen, cephalosporin, coptis supernatant tablets, Ganmaoling granules... There are two layers of medicines piled up on the desk at home.

Li Chen said that it was all snapped up online and offline at the time, costing more than 2,000 yuan, and he even posted a "slap in the face" on Moments because of this. He didn't expect the "slap in the face" to come so quickly: it didn't take long after buying the medicine , most medicines are available in sufficient quantities and readily available.

  "Even if you are sick, you can just buy one or two boxes of each of the several medicines. If you buy so many, you won't be able to finish them until the expiration date." Li Chen was very annoyed by this.

  In the early stages of optimization and adjustment of epidemic prevention policies, cold medicines, antipyretics, cough medicines, etc. were "hard to find in one box" in some places, and ibuprofen was one of the most sought-after medicines.

With the guarantee of the supply of anti-epidemic materials, the original "popular" anti-epidemic materials have been "disgusted" by people-recently, "netizens hoarded 1,000 tablets of antipyretics and threw them into their hands", "hundreds of boxes of ibuprofen were thrown into the trash" Topics such as "barrel" frequently appeared on the headlines of hot searches, sparking heated discussions.

  The reporter found that many netizens posted articles saying that there were too many medicines, "I don't know how to deal with the expired and inexhaustible medicines on hand."

  Li Chen said that she once went to the pharmacy and asked if she could repurchase the medicine she had just bought, "the price is negotiable."

As a result, I was told that once the drug is sold, it cannot be returned or exchanged, even if the package is not opened.

"The clerk said that this is for safety reasons, because the source of the drug is difficult to guarantee, and it is likely to be illegal to buy back the drug from an individual."

  The reporter searched and found that many units or individuals were punished during the epidemic.

In October last year, the Kangzhining Pharmacy in Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province was fined 100,000 yuan by the Qitaihe Market Supervision Administration for illegally engaging in drug sales, and confiscated 6,445 yuan of illegal income and illegally purchased drugs.

The reason for the punishment shows that Zhang, the actual person in charge of the pharmacy, purchased a total of 33 varieties including "Compound Methoxyphenamine Capsules", "Lianhua Qingwen Granules" and "Qishen Yiqi Dropping Pills" from individuals who did not have business qualifications 221 box of medicines, the party concerned could not provide purchase receipts and relevant qualification documents, and there were no purchase acceptance records and sales records.

  It is worth noting that not only can personal medicines not be sold in pharmacies, but it is also not allowed to resell unfinished medicines to others at will.

  The reporter's inquiry found that according to the Drug Administration Law, those who have not obtained the "Drug Production License", "Drug Business License" or "Medical Institution Preparation License" to produce and trade drugs will be banned according to law, and illegally produced and sold drugs will be confiscated ( Including sold and unsold drugs, the same below) and illegal income, and a fine of 2 to 5 times the value of the illegally produced and sold drugs; if a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

  In addition, according to my country's "National Hazardous Waste List" (2021 Edition), the appendix "Hazardous Waste Exemption Management List" stipulates that waste medicines generated in household daily life or activities that provide services for daily life belong to hazardous waste in domestic garbage.

  Deng Liqiang, executive director of the China Health Law Society and deputy director of Beijing Huawei Law Firm, said that random throwing away of medicines is not advisable.

Because discarded medicines are likely to pollute soil and water after decomposition, causing harm to humans, animals and plants.

Some highly volatile expired medicines may also become allergens.

  Expired medicines are difficult to recycle

  The promotion of dismantling and zero sales is hindered

  Drugstores cannot repurchase, and individuals cannot resell at will. Most people's family stockpile of medicines is "smashed in their hands". A large number of medicines may not be taken until the expiration date, resulting in serious waste.

  Is there a reasonable and non-wasteful "destination" for family hoarding of medicines?

  The reporter combed and found that Sichuan, Beijing and many other places have issued implementation plans for the recycling of expired drugs in households, established a system for recycling expired drugs in households, and selected drug retailers and grassroots medical institutions that are enthusiastic about public welfare undertakings, have standardized management, and have a good social reputation. Set up a designated unit for the recycling of expired drugs, and publicize it to the public through official websites, public accounts, etc.

  But from the perspective of implementation effect, it is not very ideal.

The reporter interviewed nearly a hundred citizens in Hebei, Tianjin, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and other places. Except for a few medical students and people working in hospitals, basically no one had heard of the expired drug recycling system.

After understanding the relevant situation, some citizens prepared to go to the local pharmacy to dispose of expired drugs, but found that the officially announced pharmacy did not set up an expired drug purchase box.

  At the same time, the reporter found that since 2019, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and other places have successively implemented garbage classification policies, and expired drugs should be listed separately. The problem of insufficient recycling delivery points.

  During the interview, someone suggested that the name of the system is "recycling of expired drugs", so can drugs that have not expired be recycled through this system?

  Recently, the reporter came to a pharmacy in Hebei District, Tianjin, and saw a white "family expired drug recycling box" installed next to the counter.

After learning that some medicines wanted to be recalled through the pharmacy, the clerk asked the reporter to simply register his name and contact information, and then told the reporter to put down the medicine and leave.

  The clerk told the reporter: "We will register the batch number, specifications, etc. in turn, and then collect the boxes according to the properties of the medicines, and then centrally destroy them at a fixed time. Whether the medicines are invalid or not does not affect the recycling. Both expired medicines and idle medicines can be brought over. Leave it to us."

  However, in reality, after learning about the expired drug recall system, many people are unwilling to try it.

"My medicine has not expired, and I spent a lot of money when I bought it. It feels very worthless to take back the expired medicine for free." Some people expressed the hope that pharmacies can have monetary or material rewards when recycling medicines, " It’s not like all the money for the medicine is in vain.”

  It is understood that in order to prevent the waste of medicines, dismantling and retailing of medicines has become an exploratory model.

  Some time ago, in order to alleviate the problem of citizens’ difficulty in purchasing antipyretics, many places advocated that all drug retailers in the city promote and sell drugs in short supply, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other antipyretics. Some pharmacies posted notices: ibuprofen Fen is limited to 6 capsules, which can be settled through medical insurance.

  However, judging from the survey situation, the dismantling and retail sales also encountered coldness in practice.

The reporter visited 10 pharmacies in Beijing. After the shortage of medicines was resolved, no announcements or special counters were found so far. Some pharmacy staff said that they had never heard of sales before December last year.

  Why are there fewer pharmacies setting up dismantling counters?

Some people in the industry told reporters that the dismantling of medicines requires strict quality management. It requires equipment for dismantling tools and the establishment of ledgers.

The unpacked medicines are not easy to manage, it is easy to cause the deterioration of the medicines, and there are problems such as safe storage.

In addition, there are still many customers who are reluctant to buy medicines that have been opened, expressing doubts about the source and so on.

  Most of the citizens interviewed said that they don't know much about the dismantling and retailing of medicines, and few people would ask pharmacies to conduct dismantling and retailing.

On the takeaway platform, the reporter did not find any pharmacies that sell medicines by pills or tablets, and basically sell them in whole boxes and bottles.

  Introduce a temporary take-back policy

  Establish the concept of rational drug use

  How to deal with home medicines that have too many medicines and are obviously beyond the expiration date?

  In Deng Liqiang's view, in order to solve the current hoarding of medicines in some households, the local government can take the lead in an emergency, and according to the actual situation of the region, introduce a temporary recycling policy, first to recycle the medicines currently hoarded, or to use small gifts such as laundry detergent through community activities Recycling in the form of exchange.

  "After the drug is recalled, in order to ensure safety, no matter whether it has expired or not, it cannot enter the market or be reused. It should be destroyed in a centralized manner." Deng Liqiang said.

  Wang Yue, a professor at the School of Medical Humanities at Peking University, believes that the country can pass legislation to divide the responsibilities of pharmacies, such as through the recycling of expired drugs in exchange for point items, and encourage people to orderly recycle and harmlessly dispose of expired drugs at home through pharmacies.

For drugs that have not expired and whose source can be identified, after ensuring safety, social organizations should still play a role in allowing them to take back the drugs and then distribute them free of charge to patients who actually need them.

  In order to encourage citizens to carry out drug recycling work, some pharmacies have also introduced corresponding measures.

For example, a pharmacy in Hubei Province stated that for unopened complete packages of expired drugs, the membership card of the store can be exchanged for a voucher of 50% of the retail price, and non-members can redeem a voucher of 20%. It can only be exchanged once a year, and the recovered drugs will be sent to the relevant competent authorities for centralized destruction.

  Experts interviewed pointed out that in addition to improving the recycling mechanism, more attention should be paid to source control. In the future, drug dismantling and retail sales should be further promoted, and citizens should be guided to establish a scientific and reasonable concept of drug purchase and use, rationally prepare drugs, conduct regular inspections, and properly dispose of them.

  On January 4 this year, the General Department of the State Food and Drug Administration issued the "Notice on Strengthening the Supervision of the Quality Supervision of New Crown Prevention and Control Drug Disassembly and Retail Sales", which mentioned that local drug supervision and management departments should follow the "Quality Management Standards for Drug Operation" and other relevant requirements. , Supervise and guide the dismantling and retailing of pharmaceutical retail enterprises, urge pharmaceutical retailing enterprises to establish and improve drug dismantling quality management systems and sales operating procedures, equip places and tools required for drug dismantling, and arrange specially trained personnel to carry out dismantling work.

Disassembled drugs should be centrally stored in designated areas, and the sub-packaging labels should indicate the name of the drug, manufacturer, specification, quantity, usage, dosage, batch number, expiration date, and name of the pharmacy.

Drug retail enterprises should keep a good record of dismantling and retail sales, actively provide information on drug instructions, and do a good job in drug guidance.

  "While relevant departments, pharmacies and other relevant entities have established countermeasures such as drug recycling, drug dismantling and zero sales, the whole society should also be guided to establish a scientific and rational drug preparation concept, and advocate purchasing drugs in small quantities and on demand instead of hoarding drugs." Deng Liqiang said.

  Comics/Li Xiaojun