Pharmacy Policy: Destruction of Expired/Damaged Pharmaceuticals

What is destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals ?

Destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals is part of the pharmacy policy and procedures.

Destruction of Expired/Damaged Pharmaceuticals
Destruction of Expired/Damaged Pharmaceuticals

As usual with most of the policies sample posted here, there is some default data that should be listed in the policy header and footer. Below are some of the info that you need to include in your destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals header:

  • Hospital name, obviously.
  • Pharmacy department operational policy and procedure, this header just to notify the reader that the following policy belongs to which department.
  • Policy code or Number, for filing/indexing purposes.
  • Edition Number, same purpose as above.
  • The title of the policy, in our case; would be Destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals.
  • Important dates [date reviewed, approved date, effective date, and due for review date].
  • Applies to [department] in this case it should be pharmacy department
  • And last but not least, you’ll mention the nature of the policy, whether it’s going to be multidisciplinary or department-specific. (Multidisciplinary)
Destruction of Expired/Damaged Pharmaceuticals
Destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals

Destruction of Expired/Damaged Pharmaceuticals Policy


This Policy describes the process to be followed for the disposal of expired /damaged Pharmaceuticals.


  1. To indicate the system of disposal of damaged and outdated drugs.
  2. To control, monitor, track and keeping record for the disposal of expired /damage pharmaceuticals.
  3. To ensure that expired pharmaceuticals are disposed in a timely manner.


  1. The dispensing and administering any expired to patients is strictly prohibited at the hospital.
  2. Documentation of expired and for damaged drugs will be initiated by filling the destruction form by pharmacy supervisor if expired drugs are identified and/or removed from the pharmacy unit.
  3. Proper destruction procedure should be followed order to ensure Safe and effective practice.

Procedures and responsibilities

Pharmacy Supervisor

  • Responsible to destruct all pharmaceuticals/all dosage form on monthly basis.
  • Carryout the destruction process in the presence of the senior pharmacist as witness.
  • All pharmacy sections must have a record of disposed expired/damaged drugs removed from their stocks.

Pharmacy Supervisor/Housekeeping Department

The pharmacy supervisor will destruct the loose, and partially used expired/damaged drugs according to the following procedure:

  • Loosed tablets must be crashed, ampoules and Vials Should be opened, poured and placed in sharp box, partially used liquid bottles must be poured and local application must be squeezed.
  • All the above destructed expired dosage forms will be placed in yellow bags except broken ampoules and vials will be discarded in yellow sharp box then the yellow bag will be removed by the housekeeping department to be send for incineration. Record shall be maintained for the above procedure.
  • A full documentation for the destruction will be done including: Drug name, drugs quantity, expiry date, Date of destruction, signature of the Pharmacy Supervisor, signature of the witness.


  1. Attachment A- Destruction Form.
  2. Attachment B- Pharmaceutical Waste Handover Form.

You’re almost done and pharmacy destruction of expired/damaged pharmaceuticals policy is almost ready, what’s remaining is just a few basic policy layout filling.

  • References.
  • Revisions: Revised as per timescale.
  • Distribution: Here you should mention where this policy will be sent, and which departments will get a notification for it:
    • Medical/Hospital Director.
    • Nursing Director/All Nursing Units.
    • Quality Management Department.
    • Pharmay Department.
    • Signed Originals are maintained in Manual & Indexing Office.

The policy is now finished, and it’s time to get proper signatures, whether your hospital is implementing electronic signatures, or manual signs and stamps.

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