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A Survey of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of Consumers at a Tertiary Care Hospital Regarding the Disposal of Unused Medicines

Author(s): Supriya Sonowal, Chetna Desai, Jigar D Kapadia, Mira K Desai

Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of consumers in India about disposal of unused medicines. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire comprising 11 questions evaluating the Knowledge (2), Attitude (3) and Practice (6) of unused medicines was prepared and pre validated before administering to 200 consumers of medicines attending the outpatient department of Civil Hospital Ahmedabad, a tertiary care teaching hospital in Western India. Requisite permissions from Institutional Ethics Committee and informed consent were obtained prior to recruiting them for the study. Responses were recorded, in Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet and evaluated for percentage response. Results: Majority of the respondents (136, 68%) stored unused medicines at home. Analgesics (26.5%) were the most common unused medicine stored. Safe disposal of medicine was considered necessary by majority respondents (160, 80%) for different reasons like prevention of illegal/unintended use (84, 42%), prevention of environmental pollution (32, 16%) or possible ADR caused by old drugs (54, 27%). Only 78 (39%) respondents were aware of appropriate methods of disposal. Disposal in household trash (61, 30.5%) was the most common method used. Majority of respondents felt the need for a facility or programme to collect unused medicines (152, 76%) and an increased awareness among consumers regarding hazards and methods of disposal of unused medicines (154, 77%). Conclusion: Majority of consumers are aware about the need for safe disposal of unused medicines. But the right attitude for and practice of safe disposal of medicines is lacking. A need for increased awareness regarding safe disposal of medicines is acknowledged by majority of consumers.


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