Latest medication disposal system is created by nurse

Firsthand drug disposal experiences led to the product’s creation.
Firsthand drug disposal experiences led to the product’s creation.

Kitty litter and coffee grounds are among the undesirable materials many long-term care nurses employ to destroy expired or unused medications. Nurse Sherry Day said she knew there had to be a better way. 

She teamed up with Medline to create the Drug Buster® medical disposal system to address the challenges of converting non-hazardous medications. Day, a nurse with more than 20 years of experience, began experimenting with a prototype in 2006, and the first Drug Buster products went on the market three years later. 

“From my personal experience, there's a lack of safe and time-efficient options for clinicians. I wanted to create a product that would help alleviate common pain points associated with disposing of unused or expired medications,” she said. “With Medline's expertise in the long-term care market, I'm confident we'll be able to reach a large audience of nurses.”

The product is available in three sizes. It uses activated charcoal to neutralize the active chemicals in non-hazardous medications such as capsules, lozenges and narcotics, as well as transdermal patches. The 4-ounce bottle can hold up to 50 pills, while the 64-ounce bottle can hold up to 1,500. It works in about 16 minutes, and the final product can be thrown into the trash.

Medline said 95% of nurses surveyed said their facility had a drug disposal policy, but more than half said drug disposal is too time-intensive. Around 70% of long-term care nurses reported they disposed of unused or expired medications one to two times a week, and that mixing medication with kitty litter or coffee grounds was still a common drug disposal practice.

Providers can request a free sample by visiting www.medline.com/products/pharmaceuticals-and-nutrition/drug-buster