Latest medication disposal system is created by nurse

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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