Written by Laura Wakelam
12 May 2023

Rx Destroyer: What it is and When to use it

Knowing how to properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste, especially those classified as controlled substances, is critical to becoming compliant as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrant. Laws and regulations for DEA registrants are strict and require proper disposal. The days of flushing unused medications down the sink or throwing them in a sharps container are long gone. Current best practice for pharmaceutical disposal is chemical digestion.

Daniels has developed an integrated pharmaceutical disposal system to help educate and train healthcare facilities in the most compliant and sustainable way to manage pharmaceutical waste disposal, attaining the highest levels of security for healthcare personnel, while adhering to DEA registrant regulations as well as the EPA's regulations prohibiting the sewering of certain pharmaceutical wastes.  For all types of unused, partially used and expired drugs and medications, the Daniels approach to formulary analysis and waste mapping ensures that your facility utilizes the correct amount, and size of pharmaceutical containers (when applicable) for your healthcare waste needs. In the collection and disposal of all hazardous waste streams, we work directly with our customers to review, analyze and streamline their pharmaceutical waste contents to ensure compliance. 


As part of the Daniels' security-assured approach to drug and medication disposal, Rx Destroyer is an essential component of preventing unauthorized drug diversion and maintaining DEA compliance. Diversion of controlled substances in healthcare systems risks considerable liability and leads to serious patient safety issues such as inaccurate documentation of care, inadequate pain relief and exposure to infectious disease. Maintaining a drug diversion detection and prevention policy is critical in hospitals and healthcare facilities to combat the opioid epidemic in the US. On-site deactivation of controlled substances is a mandatory component of compliant disposal with the DEA, and Rx Destroyer is a simple solution for ensuring this critical step is accomplished.  


Rx Destroyer is a ready-to-use chemical drug destruction product that begins deactivating pharmaceuticals upon contact with its activated carbon formula; Rx Destroyer products meet the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 21, 40 and 42 for regulated medical waste disposal; versatile for all commercial and healthcare environments which require the safe disposal of expired or partially used drugs, the powerful adsorption properties of Rx Destroyers' activated carbon breaks down the drugs and renders them non-retrievable. Rx Destroyer can be utilized for the witness destruction of solid and liquid medications including pills, capsules, patches, powders, suppositories, liquids and cannabis waste, and is an environmentally safe alternative to "pill flushing." 

Rx Destroyer makes medication destruction safe, affordable, and convenient; once filled the container can be safely disposed of in a non-hazardous or hazardous waste bin depending on your facility's formulary, providing a second layer of security in the prevention of drug diversion. Always follow applicable federal, state, local and tribal laws and regulations. This solution meets the DEA’s non-retrievable standard, and is an environmentally safe drug disposal solution for certain medications. Rx Destroyer is especially helpful when disposing of controlled substances. 


Some things to keep in mind when considering Rx Destroyer:

  • Rx Destroyer is to only be used for Witness Wasting. Please follow your facility's policy on inventory disposal. 
  • Your facility may have their own policy to dispose of unused mediation, but chemical destruction is best practice.
  • DEA requires controlled substances in inventory to be Witness Incinerated. Each party who handles the controlled substances until they’re disposed must be a DEA registrant.

For more information about the role Rx Destroyer plays in combatting the opioid epidemic in the United States, visit their website www.rxdestroyer.com to learn more  


How do you use Rx Destroyer?

Make sure you are Witness Wasting in accordance with your organizations' policy, and following the instructions provided on Rx Destroyer product labels. 


Step 1  /  Remove medication from packaging: Vial, bubble pack or foil.


Step 2  /  Load unused or unwanted medications into the Rx Destroyer bottle.


Step 3  /  Gently agitate bottle so the liquid slurry pours over the medications.


Step 4  /  When bottle is full, secure lid and dispose (preferably with non-haz waste)


Hazardous, Non-Hazardous, or Controlled—oh my!

If you’re struggling to identify what category your pharmaceutical waste falls into and how to dispose of it, you’re not alone. The first step to compliant pharmaceutical disposal is a formulary analysis to determine which drugs in your inventory require additional steps for compliant disposal.


Formulary Analysis


Approximately 5% of the average drug inventory is considered hazardous waste by the EPA, so only a small portion of your inventory will require hazardous waste disposal. However, you must also consider which wastes are controlled substances. Not all controlled substances are hazardous waste and not all hazardous wastes are controlled substances.


While hazardous waste is regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), controlled substances must meet destruction standards regulated by the DEA, regardless of whether they are hazardous or non-hazardous wastes. In simple terms, a controlled substance must be rendered “non-retrievable,” according to DEA standards, meaning its physical or chemical state has been permanently altered to be unusable.

With over 35 years of experience—we got this.

Don’t stress yourself with the hassle of guesswork when it comes to disposing of pharmaceuticals, give us a call. With specific training on DEA drug regulations, formulary analysis tools, accredited hazardous waste specialists and the leading safety containment systems in US healthcare for the management of pharmaceutical disposal, Daniels is widely recognized as the experts in developing integrated hospital pharmaceutical waste managemnt programs. We have the experience and the passion for safety to help you develop a drug disposal strategy that meets the unique needs of your organization. Speak to one of our pharmaceutical waste experts today to learn how Daniels can drive safety and compliance in your drug management program. 


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Laura Wakelam

Laura Wakelam

Global Chief Marketing Officer

Brand and Communications Curator of Daniels Health global group of companies, Laura is a strong believer in cause-driven brand identity and honest storytelling