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 becoming increasingly more important as legislation tightens to prevent drugs and prescription medications from falling to the wrong hands or polluting our water supply. The days of flushing unused medications down the sink are long gone. Current best practice of Witness Wasting is chemical destruction.

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 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. 


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. Daniels has helped countless customers categorize their formularies to understand their specific drug inventory and advise on proper disposal methods. If you would like some help on categorizing this waste stream, learn more about the formulary analysis tool we offer! 


Formulary Analysis


You may ask yourself, “Why do I need to be so specific with my pharmaceutical waste categorization? Can’t I just over-categorize it all has hazardous and be done with it?”


The short answer is, sure you can do that. The long answer is, taking the short route to safety never pays off and you will most likely end up, at minimum, drastically over-paying for disposal and treatment or with a fine from the EPA or DEA for improper disposal. We’ve encountered numerous customers who have not been offered the help or education to properly categorize and separate their pharmaceutical waste stream. We work to ensure that none of our customers are ever paying for pricier disposal of non-regulated waste if they don’t have to. We take time to get it right and save you money. Approximately 5% of the average drug inventory is considered hazardous waste by the EPA, meaning RCRA hazardous waste (the most expensive stream) should be only a small component of the total pharmaceutical waste generated out of a hospital or patient care environment. 


What is Rx Destroyer and why is it required?


As part of the Daniels' security-assured approach to drug and medication disposal, Rx Destroyer™ is an essential component of preventing unauthorized drug diversion. 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 epidemic of drug addiction in the U.S.


Rx Dstroyer is a ready-to-use chemical drug destruction product that deactivates pharmaceuticals upon contact with its activated-charcoal formulation; 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 tablet 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 pharmaceutical waste bin, providing a second layer of security in the prevention of unauthorized drug retrieval. 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. Rx Destroyer cannot be used for the disposal of controlled substances that are in inventory (expired or unused).
  • 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.
  • When the partially-used medication is witness wasted, the waste is no longer DEA regulated.

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)


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

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