Drug Waste

Drug waste significantly increases the cost and carbon footprint of ophthalmic surgery. Find resources and solutions for drug waste reduction.

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Overview of Surgical Drug Waste

The healthcare sector accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Medications in the operating room represent a sizable portion of the waste generated, estimated at $560 million in waste annually. David Palmer, MD, provides an overview of a study of medication waste from cataract surgery at several facilities in Illinois.

Reducing Topical Drug Waste in Ophthalmic Surgery

Surgical facilities should be permitted to use topical drugs in multidose containers on multiple patients until the labeled date of expiration following proper infection control and storage guidelines. Some states may need to modify their pharmacy practice regulations to allow eyedrop multidosing. Surgical patients receiving dedicated topically applied medications should be allowed to bring their partially used medication home with them if needed for continued postoperative care.


Inappropriate Disposal of Multi-use Ophthalmic Solutions Can Lead to Drug Shortages

Visit the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists website for up-to-date information about ophthalmic drug shortages.