All posts by Faigie Carmel

what is in my meds?

ANOTHER Recall?? More Blood Pressure Meds Taken Off The Market.

“Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging, LLC Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP, 25mg, 50mg, And 100mg Due to The Detection of Trace Amounts Of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-Amino Butyric Acid (NMBA) Impurity Found in The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)”.

We have been following recall notices about blood pressure drugs valsartan and losartan. 

This latest recall follows several others announced since July, when the FDA announced the recall of five separate valsartan blood pressure drugs over possible NDEA and NDMA contamination.

Many more were announced in August as the recall spread to Canada and the European Union. And earlier this month, a blood pressure drug known as irbesartan was recalled as well.

So far, recall notices have been issued for multiple lots, with multiple updates, by multiple generic drug manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers who issued recalls in the past several months include:

Teva, Legacy, Torrent, Sandov, Macleods,  Aurobindo Pharma USA,   Mylan’s.

This is by far the longest-running, ongoing spread of recalls we’ve noticed in the past three years.

What is going on?

Turns out that we weren’t the only curious ones. Bloomberg.com spent a year investigating the FDA’s regulations of the generic drug industry and found a drop-off in inspections and the softening of penalties when problems are identified. Data integrity is compromised as well. FDA inspections at factories from West Virginia to China give cause to doubt the data meant to prove the safety and efficacy of drugs.

Bloomberg’s has done a lot of research on generic drugs and the FDA’s quality control. One of their conclusion was that due to the data integrity problems, even the drugs that are not being recalled may not be as effective or safe as they are meant to be.

Safety and efficacy concerns are not limited to drugs using active ingredients from India and China, but also to drugs manufactured in the States.

Bloomberg has a host of articles around the subject of generic drugs and where we are headed, and they are not encouraging.

One of the reasons for the increased laxity in regulations may be the generic drug initiative run by Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner.

Scott Gottlieb was the FDA Commissioner since May 2017, and spearheaded several important initiatives. Among these are finding solutions to the opioid crises, food safety modernization, an initiative to minimize youth nicotine, youth vaping, and general nicotine addiction.

Another top priority for Gottlieb was getting more generic drugs into the market. The extra competition would drive down prices. This has drawn praise from both parties in Congress and, as an aside, is one of the issues President Trump said he would take care of if he was voted President. Everybody was happy.

In the effort to fast-track generic drug manufacture, some approvals for generic drugs may have come at the expense of quality assurance and oversight to ensure the efficacy and safety of the drugs.

On March 5, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that he was resigning from his post as FDA Commissioner. He will be leaving in April. Will the FDA tighten regulations after he leaves? We can’t be sure.

They will definitely keep working on keeping more drugs accessible to more people- and on the other initiatives Gottlieb spearheaded during his reign as the FDA Commissioner.

Perhaps, now that Gottlieb put a system in place, they will spend more time fixing the bugs in the system and plugging the holes that allow ineffective and unsafe drugs to hit the market. Maybe we will all notice that our medication is working better all of a sudden, and spend less time visiting Doctors to try different versions of what is supposed to be the same basic drug. Maybe the drug prices will go up again. Who knows?

In the meantime, keep checking for updates on drug recalls on our website, or go directly to the FDA’s website.

Above all, Be Safe.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

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Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

feet at 2019 starting line

New Year, Old Crisis: The Opioid Epidemic in 2019

The opioid crisis is still one of the most critical public health challenges of our time period. The death toll is still rising. An estimated 130 people are dying from opioid-related overdose every day.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a plan for dealing with the opioid crisis in 2019.

It has five key points:

  1. Better prevention, treatment and recovery services for addicts.
  2. Developing better methods for pain management.
  3. More quality research on pain and research on addiction.
  4. More attention on overdose-reversing drugs
  5. Get better, more accurate data on the scope of the opioid epidemic.

The Department has $10 billion allocated to put this five-point plan into action.

The Department of Justice Department of Justice is also implementing new and creative policies to fight the opioid scourge.

In 2019, they’re proposing to decrease manufacturing quotas for opioid production.

Time will tell if the quota will go through, as patients who are on opioids may strenuously object to policies that will limit their access to drugs they are currently taking for pain management. So we might see a plethora of petitions and fights over opioid policies this coming year.

The nation’s biggest drugmakers and distributors face a wave of civil lawsuits that could total tens of billions of dollars in damages.

Local governments are suing drug companies that manufacture opioids, distribute them, or sell them to patients. The coming year will see us through the big court fights. The litigation process is going to evolve over the next year. It will likely follow a similar pattern as the lawsuits against tobacco manufacturers. First, States will need to prove that opioids are harmful to patients, that the companies were unequivocally aware of the risks to users, and that the patients could not assume responsibility for the risks because the risks were concealed and patients and prescribers of the drug were not adequately informed of the risks by the manufacturers. Companies will likely be sued for the cost of healthcare and treatment for opioid addiction that the State incurred, or to help defray the cost of opening more addiction treatment centers in States that are desperately strapped for the necessary funds.

So far, the claims are that dozens of companies (manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies) made billions of dollars flooding the U.S. with prescription pain pills. On top of that, the claim accuses the companies of a concerted effort to mislead the public and physicians about the dangers of opioid medications. One example is Purdue Pharma, who created Oxycontin in the 1990s, marketed it aggressively, and advertised the following:

“In fact, the rate of addiction amongst pain patients who are treated by doctors is much less than one percent…” “These drugs should be used much more than they are for patients in pain.”

There are also smaller lawsuits pending against prescribing Doctors.

Boston U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has been sending letters to Doctors whose patients died opioid-related deaths within 60 days of being prescribed opioids.

They are reminders and warnings, he says, that his Department is keeping an eye out for ethical prescribing practices of potentially lethal substances.

There have been Doctors indicted for manslaughter over opioid-related deaths, and the coming year will probably see more Doctors in court for their lax prescription practices.

We will be following the various lawsuits.

The United States has been pushing for better regulation of fentanyl in China for years, without much luck.

Maybe 2019 will bring changes in China and their regulatory laws.

Who knows? Although, considering the huge amount of money China is making off fentanyl sales and distribution in China, they probably won’t be so quick to completely cut such a profitable industry.

Maybe in 2019 we’ll find out if that wall between the U.S. and Mexico will ever be finished.

The next 12 months might just redefine the way America thinks about and responds to the opioid epidemic that now claims more than 40,000 lives each year.

This coming year is going to bring more contention and more awareness around the subject of opioids than last year. It’s a trending topic. Government agencies, News reporting agencies, Law Enforcement Agencies, Schools and Community Organizations, are all going to address aspects of the opioid crisis over the coming year. We can all gear up and find a way to help. The opioid crisis is not going away anytime soon. Hopefully the coming year will also bring surprising initiatives and solutions that will drive down the opioid overdose death rates and the rate of overall prescription and addiction.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

infant swallowing medicine

Ibuprofen for Infants Is Being Recalled by Tris Pharma, Inc.

Three lots of Infants’ Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID) 50 mg per 1.25 mL, are being recalled by Tris Pharma.

These lots had potentially higher concentrations of ibuprofen in the bottles. 

It is possible that infants, who are more susceptible to slight variations in potency, may suffer adverse side effects if the medication is a higher concentration than listed.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), used commonly for pain relief. It works by blocking your body’s production of substances that cause inflammation. This effect helps to decrease swelling, pain, or fever.

Possible side effects from an incorrect dose of ibuprofen may include permanent NSAID-associated renal injury.

Infants taking ibuprofen can suffer serious bleeding as a side effect- usually gastrointestinal bleeding, commonly in the stomach but possibly anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract. Bloody vomit, a stomachache that doesn’t go away, and feeling faint are indicators of stomach bleeding.

Other possible side effects are liver problems like jaundice and hepatitis. As many as 15 percent of infants taking ibuprofen showed elevated liver function.

When giving a child ibuprofen, keep an eye out for nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain,and, more rarely, diarrhea.

Tris Pharma, Inc., sold the affected lots to only one customer, who distributed the ibuprofen to Family Wellness, CVS, and Equate, among others. Tris Pharma, Inc. has urgently notified this customer and is arranging the return of all affected products.

To date, Tris Pharma, Inc. hasn’t received any reports of adverse side effects related to the lots they are recalling.

The affected lots are listed on the FDA website.

Tris Pharma is a fully integrated pharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative medicines that address unmet patient needs. Using its proprietary technology platform, LiquiXR®, Tris has pioneered the delivery of sustained release in the liquid, chewable, orally disintegrating tablet, and other dosage forms that benefits a wide variety of patients and their unique needs. Tris’ Nobuse™ technology provides abuse deterrence for opioids and other abuse-prone drugs. Tris’ research, manufacturing and commercial facilities are located in Central New Jersey. For more information, please visit their website. .

Consumers with questions regarding this ibuprofen recall can contact Tris Customer Service at 732-940-0358 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am ET- 5:00pm PT) or via email at Customer Service Email .

Adverse reactions or quality problems associated with the use of this product should be reported to a physician or hospital. After that, they should be reported to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either by phone, on line, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

You can now follow the FDA on Facebook and Twitter. Get immediate, up-to-date notices about product recalls and other important notifications.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

 

 

Cute police cartoon

More Drug Drop-Off Boxes Are Now Available in Police Stations.

Last week, a MedSafe Drug Drop-off box became available in Liberal, Kansas.

A ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Liberal Chamber of Commerce took place for the MedSafe box, and officials with the Liberal Area Coalition for Families, including director Sarah Foreman, were on hand for the presentation.

The box came at the heels of a purchase of a Elastec Drug Terminator Incinerator. The purchase was made possible with a donation from Southern Pioneer Electric’s Helping Us Give to Society (HUGS) program.

The $1,500 HUGS donation was matched by CoBank, making a total of $3,000 towards the LPD’s equipment.

Annually, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has its National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative. The Liberal Police Department takes part in this.

Now, with the additon of the MedSafe box, people can dispose of their unwanted medication whenever it’s convenient for them. It’s available for drop-off Monday through Friday, from 8 to 5.

The MedSafe box is in the lobby. There is no need to check in with anyone. You just walk in to the station, throw in your medication, and leave.

After the medications are dropped in the MedSafe container, a minimum of two employees remove the medication and take it to the new incinerator. The medication is incinerated on the same day.

The Vermont State Police is also joining the ranks of departments that have a secure disposal box available year-round, all week. 

Six of the 10 VSP barracks already have been outfitted with drop boxes. There are more coming.

It’s  just another way for locals to clean out the poison from their medicine cabinets, said Public Safety Comissioner Anderson.

Police stations and State Police barracks across Erie County now have drug take-back boxes.

People in Erie can also  safely deposit expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication at Erie Police Stations now.

An interactive map that shows where the boxes are located can be found here.

It was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and includes more than a dozen sites in Erie County and nearly 700 statewide.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony in Liberal, Kansas,  Liberal Area Coalition for Families Director Sarah Foreman spoke about the goals and expectations for the MedSafe box the Station installed.

She said a large problem, at least among young people, is taking prescription medicines from their parents’ medicine cabinets to parties. This creates a danger close in nature to taking illegal drugs. Maybe more dangerous, since the pills are mixed and may be funky due to the expired ingredients.

While having a disposal box doesn’t empirically curb the behavior, she hopes that reducing drug use among teenagers would be one result of installing the drop box.

“I think the goal of any MedSafe disposal is to get either prescribed drugs off the streets, out of the wrong hands, and expired medication also not in the water system, not on the streets, not in dumpsters, but safely disposed of and then incinerated,” she said.

Other dangers of expired and unused medication would be for small children, as well as elderly who may be confused about which type of medication is safe.

Often people don’t know what to do with the expired medications, or don’t get to the drop off locations at drug takeback events, so having a permanent box that is open all week is a great option for disposing of expired or unused medications.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

say no to drugs

Quick Overview of the Opioid Crisis

On October 26, 2017, President Trump announced that his Administration was declaring the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency under federal law, effective immediately. “I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis,” the President said.

Declaring the Opioid Crisis a national Public Health Emergency legally authorizes federal, state, tribal, and local authorities to allocate existing personnel and resources toward opioid prevention efforts.

It also waives some key legal inhibitions, ramps up critical public health surveillance, and facilitates greater coordination across federal agencies. Mainly, these agencies and authorities are focusing on the developing the following three solutions:

Money.

 Innovation costs money. All the organizations and government, pharma, and medicine that are working to stem the flow of the opioid crisis need money to put their ideas into practice, so directing funds to all the people working to solve the opioid crisis is going to be a primary concern. Where exactly is the money going to be spent? Each agency has their own list of needs.

Some of the money is to be used for creating more access to addiction treatments, as many patients with opioid addictions simply cannot afford the detox and addiction treatments currently available.     

Another costly way to reduce opioid death is furnishing emergency personnel with naloxone, which is the primary treatment for opioid overdose. Naloxone is costly. The government can force Pharma to slash prices. We’re still working on that- it hasn’t happened yet.

Regulation-.

First of all, going after the bad guys who are importing opioids in an unregulated manner. To this end,  Trump signed the INTERDICT Act in January, 2018. This law directs the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional tools and resources to detect and intercept the supply of illicit fentanyl.

Trump spoke about handing out the Death Penalty to drug dealers.

He also is still emphatic about strengthening the wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which supplies a lot of the US’s illicit drugs.       

Regulation also includes the FDA’s efforts to create better guidelines, reporting systems, and a way to regulate the prescribed opioids in the U.S. Patients requiring certain medications containing opioids are already having a more difficult time getting their prescription refilled, and they are not happy. They are forming groups and creating petitions for medical opioids that will not interfere or limit the patient’s medical treatments.

Education.

 Many addictions start without the knowledge of the person developing the addiction, or without the knowledge of people around them that could have prevented or assisted with the addiction. Explaining the effects of drugs to teenagers is always appropriate.

Giving patients good information about their prescribed medication, and creating a list of alternative ways to treat, control and handle pain is another way to reduce opioid addiction numbers.

Proper disposal of opioids is a very big step toward decreasing the numbers of opioid addiction and death, and it is something everyone can do.

Follow us for more information on the latest innovations, solutions, and news about the opioid crisis.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

stop drugs word collage

State Department will Crack Down on Opioid Import

Much of the efforts to fight the opioid crisis are directed to provide resources, support and education for opioid users or demographics at risk for becoming users (like teenagers.) The Department of State is putting in the effort to address one of the core issues of the opioid epidemic.

A critical piece to stopping opioid abuse is preventing illicit opioids from being available in the first place.

As prescribing opioids becomes a more discerning process, opioid addicts may first turn to alternate sources for the drug before seeking treatment for the addiciton itself. The U.S. Department of State is aiming to stop illicit opioids that are produced overseas from being trafficked into America.

The number of overdose cases that involved synthetic opioids (mostly fentanyl) increased by nearly 640% between 2012 and 2016. In 2016 alone, over 42,000 Americans overdosed on synthetic opioids.

Two milligrams of fentanyl can potentially be lethal.

Most of the fentanyl in the US is sourced from overseas, mostly from China. The majority of heroin in the US comes from Mexico.

These drugs enter the US in a variety of ways and routes. Some are crossing the border overland. Some are shipped in through online orders, slipping through the mail system.

 The State Departments’s INL Bureau is leading U.S. efforts to partner with foreign governments in an effort to reduce illicit drugs and precursor chemicals for cooking the drugs from entering the US.

The INL Bureau is developing a strategy to disrupt the synthetic drug supply chain, in all its new and improved forms, which currently pose a challenge to traditional counternarcotics approaches.

There are new trends in the way the drugs are moved that fostered an increase in heroin use. There have also been many instances of heroin (the natural opioid) being laced with synthetic opioids (like fentanyl), without the user’s knowledge. Fentanyl and other forms of synthetic opioids can be fifty to one hundred times stronger than heroin.

There has to be a new plan that can handle drugs that are produced in secret labs, then bought and sold online, maybe with bitcoin or other virtual currencies that can’t be traced in a traditional manner. Drugs are shipped globally directly to the buyer in small packages that are hard to track and hard to detect. What used to be a drug-trafficking network has turned frequently into a  micro-trafficking network.

The INL Bureau is creating a number of new initiatives to keep up with the dynamic opioid threat in a better fashion. These include:

*Expanding the capacity to globally share and pick up advance electronic data about international mail parcels headed for the United States.

*More support for early warning and global information sharing systems

*Expanding technical assistance for the fine people who develop new ways to detect illicit substances and are working on forensics and cyber investigation

*Spreading education and U.S. expertise with foreign jurisdictions regarding the prevention, treatment ,and recovery programs for drug users.

This will help decrease the demand for the drugs in foreign jurisdictions as well.

Everyone is going to have to work together to meet the challenges posed by the entry of illicit opioids into the United States, including foreign governments, law enforcement agencies, and even the private sector. The State Department is working on advancing cooperation so that the flow of opioids can be stemmed and more lives can be saved.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

stop drugs word collage

Use the Deterra Pouch to Safely Dispose of Opioids.

The Deterra Drug Deactivation System is a simple, convenient, and cost-effective way to dispose of unused or expired drugs at home.

At-home drug disposal with the patented Deterra® Drug Deactivation System is the simplest and most effective way to keep drugs out of our lakes, rivers streams and drinking water.

It’s also a cost-effective and simple way to keep drugs away from children and other household members.

Every day, 2,500 kids begin abusing a prescription medication. One-third of people aged 12 and over began using drugs for the first time by using a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.

The patented Deterra® System is powered by proprietary MAT12® Molecular Adsorption Technology.

In a scientifically proven, simple 3-step process, the Deterra pouch can render drugs inert, preventing their misuse.

As a bonus, the Deterra patented technology protects the environment from the effects of non-inert drugs that can still have active compounds that leech into the ground or water.

It’s a simple pouch. Each patented Deterra pouch contains a water-soluble inner pod that contains a unique form of activated carbon Activated Carbon has been found to effectively bind to a wide variety of drugs and poisons with a few notable exceptions (e.g. iron, lithium, and potassium).

You put the unwanted pills, liquids or patches in the pouch and add warm water, which dissolves the inner pod and releases the activated carbon.

The pills, patches, or liquids are absorbed by the carbon. You seal the pouch and throw it into your regular household garbage can. The pills, liquids or patches are inert and non-retrievable.

The Deterra pouch is made of environmentally sound materials. The plastic pouch and zipper will degrade through the use of organic additives that will be consumed in landfills by microbes typically found there. The end result will be a release of water and carbon dioxide into the environment. There will be very little organic biomass left behind.

The Deterra pouch will deactivate any organic medications including opioids.

However, it will not adsorb metals such as Iron or lithium, which are contained in a small number of medications.

If your medication has specific disposal instructions, please follow the directions as given.

Deterra is available in multiple sizes and recommended capacity is listed on each pouch or container.

Frequently Asked Questions about Deterra Pouches.

A product demonstration is available on Youtube. Deterra also has a facebook page for updates and helpful articles about their products.

You can purchase Deterra Drug Deactivation System pouches on Amazon.

Drug distributor AmerisourceBergen‘s runs a charity that gives resources for drug disposal  to communitie sthat apply for them. The products they donate include DisposeRx packets and Deterra bags. So far, the foundation has donated 55,000 of these products.

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts started sending Deterra Pouches to members who have opioid prescriptions so they can discard any leftovers.

We will probably be seeing more innovative solutions for the opioid crisis in the near future and will continue to report as new information comes up.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stop drugs word collage

Walgreens and CVS Install Drug Take Back Kiosks.

The United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic.

Every day, 134 people die of opiate-related overdoses.

So many people are overdosing from heroin and synthetic opioids that the U.S. life expectancy shortened two years in a row. In the first advisory form a Surgeon General since 2005, the Surgeon General urges more people to carry naloxone, an opioid antidote.

The Federal government’s research shows that a large driver of the epidemic is perscription drug abuse. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends and family, often coming straight out of the medicine cabinet.

Proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs is an effective way to improve the opioid crisis.

Some people are not able to get to the DEA’s drug take back locations.

CVS and Walgreens are implementing another way to help customers dispose of their leftover prescription drugs.

Up until 2014, pharmacies weren’t allowed to take back prescriptions. People could only dispose of drugs in police departments- and for obvious reasons, not everyone was comfortable with that.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued new regulations due to the growing opioid problem that expanded the ways to safely return and dispose of prescription drugs.

In 2016, Walgreens began adding drug disposal kiosks in its chain stores.

Walgreens now has 600 drug disposal kiosks and has collected more than 270 tons of medications so far. It is partnering with AmerisourceBergen, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to add kiosks to another 900 locations.

The kiosks for drug returns and disposal look kind of like a mail box.

Consumers simply drop the unwanted medication into the slot and the drugs get picked up by a medical waste company as the kiosk fills up.

Rick Gates, Walgreens‘ senior vice president of pharmacy operations, who was involved in the kiosk idea since its inception, says that initially the medical waste company planned on emptying the kiosks once a month, but they were filling up so quickly they had to clear them once a week or once every other week.

CVS Health is in the process of installing 750 kiosks in various chain stores. It’s already donated more than 800 units to police departments.

So far, CVS has collected nearly 158 metric tons of medications from drug take back kiosks.

It sounds simple to install a kiosk, but complying with drug disposal regulations is complicated. Each unit takes time and planning to make sure it is up to regulation standard. Some of the requirements are that the kiosk be bolted to the floor (so nobody can just make off with it). The kiosk has to be locked at all times to prevent abuse of the drugs dropped off in it, and the medical waste disposal company has to be up to the DEA’s protocols as well.

Drug disposal kiosks in pharmacies are not yet available everywhere.

There are other companies working on other options for Household Waste Disposal, besides for the good work being done by the Walgreen’s, CVS, the DEA’s National perscription drug take back day and police stations and fire houses. For example, Google put out a locator tool for drug take back locations that works by zip code. We will keep reporting about various household waste disposal options that will be offered by Walgreens, CVS, and other companies all working hard to come up with practical solutions for consumers.

We will continue to add updates about the opioid crisis and new solutions. It is time that we all did our little part to help save lives and reduce opioid addiction.

_________

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

eye dropper close to eye

Puriton Eye Relief Drops Can Harm Your Eyes.

Kadesh Incorporation Issued a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Puriton Eye Relief Drops. The complete statement can be found on the FDA’s recall page.

The recall was due to non-sterile conditions during production.

When the FDA inspected the production site, the investigators discovered that the necessary production controls and conditions for sterility were not being observed.

Opthalmic drugs are required to be sterile in particular, because using a non-sterile eye drop can potentially threaten the vision of the consumer due to the risk of an eye infection. Also, the pH factor of the eye drops can cause direct destruction of tissues in the anterior chamber, cornea, and even deeper in the eye.

This can potentially cause scarring, vision loss, or glaucoma.

To date, there have been no reports of adverse effects related to the Puriton Eye Relief Drops.

Purtion Eye Relief Drops is an over-the-counter homeopathic eye drop product. Its uses include temporary relief of burning and irritation of the eye due to dryness and temporary relied of discomfort due to minor irritations to the eye, like wind and sun exposure. Other uses were the relief of redness, watery eyes, inflamed eyes, itching, burning, tearing eyes, eye pain, and lubricant.

Kadesh, Inc. of Garden Grove, CA is voluntarily recalling all lots of Puriton EyeRelief Drops , 0.5 oz. (15ml) bottle, UPC 7 36972 1679 0, to the consumer level.

It is packaged in a 15 ml plastic bottle, and was distributed nationwide through the company’s online stores and the retail distributors they work with. All distributors and customers are being notified by letter and Kadesh is arranging for the return of all the recalled products.

As of now, the product cannot be found anywhere online, neither on the Puriton website nor online markets like Amazon.

Anyone who has recalled eye drops should stop usage or sale of the product.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact the Recall Department at contact@puriton.us, available Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm (Pacific Time).

Product may be returned to Kadesh Inc. by mail:

4731 Lincoln Way, Garden Grove, CA 92841.

Anyone who experienced any problems that may be related to the use of the non-sterile product should contact their healthcare provider.

Adverse reactions or quality problems associated with the use of this product may be reported to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either by phone, on line, by regular mail or by fax.

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woman with pill

Drug Recall: ORTHO-NOVUM

Janssen Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary recall for three lots of ORTHO-NOVUM tablets. The packages had the wrong instructions for the Veridate® dispenser included in them.

Only three lots of ORTHO-NOVUM were affected: ORTHO-NOVUM® 1/35, ORTHO-NOVUM® 7/7/7, ORTHO-NOVUM® 7/7/7. The FDA website has detailed information about the specific lots.

ORTHO-NOVUM® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a contraceptive. It is used as birth control, to prevent pregnancy, and at times used as hormonal treatment for severe acne.

ORTHO-NOVUM® pill packs contain 28 pills with active medication. 21 have active medication/hormones, and 7 pills are inert reminder pills.

The potential risk of taking ORTHO-NOVUM® without the appropriate instructions for correct use of the Veridate® dispenser pack is that the pills would be taken in the incorrect order.

That could be harmless and still provide an adequate dose. However, the other risk is that the inactive “reminder” pill would be taken on days that the active pill is necessary. This could lead to breakthrough bleeding and, in a case of active ovulation, could lead to unintended pregnancy.

The lots with the inaccurate patient instructions were distributed only in the United States, to wholesalers, distributors, and pharmacies. Janssen Pharmaceuticals have already sent out letters and notifications to return the affected products.

Consumers with ORTHO-NOVUM® product from the affected lots can get the correct instructions for the Veridate® dispenser pack at https://www.janssen.com/us/our-products. If they have any concerns about their treatment program, they can talk to their prescribing medical professional. Consumers should not stop taking the product and if they do miss a dose, they should follow the instructions included in the packet for missing a dose.

The ORTHO-NOVUM® product itself remains safe and will be effective with the appropriate dispenser instructions. 

No other ORTHO® contraceptive products beyond those three lots are impacted by this recall action.

Any questions regarding this recall can be addressed to Janssen Pharmaceuticals by phone: 1-800-526-7736 (1-800-JANSSEN) Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm ET. Consumers should contact their healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that might be related to using this product.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

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food poisoning, listeria

Product Recall: Fried Onions with Listeria and Salmonella

Possible Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes contamination is affecting multiple products and crossing State lines.

The reason for the recall was contaminated ingredients sold and shipped by McCain Foods. Initially, they identified the contamination in their onion ingredients.

First, “Out of an abundance of caution”,  Hy-Vee recalled the following products from all of its stores:

Hy-Vee Bacon Wrapped Cowgirl Chicken Grillers, Hy-Vee Fire Roasted Tomato, Spinach, Mozzarella Twice Baked PotatoHy-Vee Cowgirl Chicken Griller PattyHy-Vee Gourmet Steakhouse Mushroom & Swiss BurgerHy-Vee Ground Beef Sliders Mushroom & Swiss

The impacted products had a “Best If Used By” date of Oct. 22, 2018, or sooner

The instructions for customers who bought any of the recalled products was to avoid consuming them, throw them out, or return them to the local Hy-Vee store for a refund.

Questions about Hy-Vee recalled products will be addressed 24 hours a day with Hy-Vee Customer Care representatives at 1-800-772-4098.

The FDA has a full list of the Hy-Vee recalled products on their site.

Since then, the recall has spread to a dozen U.S. food manufacturers including Bakkavor Foods, Envolve Foods and Ruiz Food Products. The food makers notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture about products they shipped that could include ingredients such as corn, diced onions and other vegetables possibly tainted with bacteria – all provided from McCain Foods.

McCain Foods, which has headquarters in Canada and offices in Illinois, said they identified a potential health risk related to their fire roasted, caramelized, or sauteed frozen vegetable and fruit products that were produced at their Colton (California) facility.

Included in the recall:

Salads, wraps, burritos and pizza sold at Harris Teeter, Kroger, Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Simple Truth, and other major retailers.

The Fresh Market said they removed some pizza and pasta salad products and self-serve portions from the shelves of 161 stores in 22 states.

For a complete list of affected products, check the USDA’s current recalls site.

According to McCain Foods and the USDA, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of any of the recalled products as of now.

Listeriosis is a food-borne infection caused by Listeria bacteria that is commonly found in water, soil, and feces. Humans are infected when they consume foods that harbor the bacteria.

The most common foods to cause listeriosis outbreaks are deli meats and unpasteurized dairy products. However, many other foods have also been found to spark outbreaks, including caramel apples, cantaloupe, and cabbages fertilized by sheep manure.

Adults who are healthy and have strong immune systems are less at risk of listeriosis. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infection and can pass the infection to the fetus or suffer complications or miscarriage. Other people who have an increased risk of Listeria infection are the elderly, children or people who are immuno-compromised.

Severe Listeria infections can cause gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”), bacteremia, sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis and endocarditis.

An estimated 1,600 people get Listeriosis each year in the U.S., and about 260 die from it, according to the CDC. 

Listeria and Salmonella infections usually resolve on their own without treatment. The best defense is prevention. Heat all foods that may be harboring bacteria.

There are also natural remedies that assist with the symptoms and with overcoming the infection that have been proven useful.

With proper rest, care and in the worst case, with treatment, This Too Shall Pass.

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We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

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child on sand

Cortaid Recall: Anti-Itch Application May End Up Needing Antibiotic

Product Quest has issued a Cortaid recall, among other products. An internal quality review revealed possible contamination of Cortaid Anti-itch Cream products with  Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The recall covers all lots and expiration dates of Cortaid Creams.

This includes Cortaid 12-hour Advanced Anti-Itch Cream, sold in 1.5-ounce tubes; Cortaid Maximum Strength Cream, sold in 1-ounce tubes; and Cortaid Intensive Therapy Cooling Spray (2-ounces). Anyone with these products should return them to the store for a full refund.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacteria that can cause pseudomonas infection. Most pseudomonas infections occur in hospitalized patients and/or with compromised or weakened immune systems. An estimated 51,000 healthcare-associated P. aeruginosa infections occur in the United States each year. More than 6,000 (13%) of these are multidrug-resistant, with roughly 400 deaths per year attributed to these infections. 

Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas was given a threat level of serious threat in the CDC AR Threat report.

Healthy people can also develop mild illness with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, especially when exposed through water. Ear infections are a common reaction, especially in children. Exposure to the bacterial through inadequately chlorinated hot tubs or swimming pools can result in generalized skin rashes as well. Patients using infected extended-wear contact lenses have reported eye infections.

To the best of Product Quest’s knowledge, the company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall so far.

Cortaid is not the only product that Product Quest is recalling for  Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination. All its nasal products and baby oral gels are suspect to the bacteria and are being recalled. In August, Product Quest Manufacturing recalled nasal sprays sold as name brands and as the house brands for Walgreens, CVS, Meijer, Dollar General, Rexall, Family Dollar, Rite-Aid and Harmon.

On September 17, Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced the recall of all Cortaid creams, and on September 24, they recalled Ocean Saline Nasal Spray.

MediNatura recalled 19 lots of two nasal sprays, a throat spray and a cough syrup for a “possible microbial contamination” in the water-based products. Clearlife Nasal Spray, Reboost Nasal Spray, Reboost Throat Spray, each in 20 ml bottles, and 125 ml bottles of Reboost Cough Syrup are involved in the recall.

“Administration or use of drug products with microbial contamination, could potentially result in increased infections that may require medical intervention,” MediNatura’s website recall notice says.

To date, the company has not received any reports of illness or injury.

KIngBio has recalled Baby Teething Liquids for microbial contamination, and many other water-based products, due to the same bacteria in their water.

Product Quest is notifying its customers by oral and written communication and is arranging for return/replacement etc. of all recalled products. Consumers/distributors/retailers that have product which is being recalled should stop using the product and return it to the place of purchase or discard the product.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Product Quest Manufacturing LLC at (386) 239-8787, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, EST.

Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

______

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

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