Household acquisition of medicines and disposal of expired and unused medicines at two suburbs (Bohyen and Kaase) in Kumasi – Ghana
Samuel N. Osei-Djarbeng, Gertrude O. Larbi, Rashida Abdul-Rahman, Samuel Osei-Asante, Raphael Owusu-Antwi
Disposal of unused and expired medicines has become a major concern for not only local and national health authorities but also the environmental authorities. Many individuals in various households do not have any idea on how to properly dispose of such medicines. A study has therefore been carried out to investigate how and why households in two suburbs, namely Bohyen and Kaase, in Kumasi (Ghana) acquire medicines, and how those that are unused and/or expired in their custody are disposed of.
Structured questionnaire were distributed to solicit for information on why and how individuals acquired medicines and why the acquired medicines were not used. Additionally, the questionnaire also sought to find out how the unused and expired medicines are disposed of.
The study showed that most people acquired medicines from hospitals, pharmacies, licensed chemical shops and from friends and relatives. These medicines were acquired when sick or when one wanted to improve on well-being. Unused and expired drugs were mainly generated as a result of failure to complete the dosage given because of improvement in the disease condition or undesirable side effect of the medicines. Most of the respondents claimed that they dispose of unused and expired drugs mainly through the trash, and few flush them down the sink. Some keep them as they do not know what to do with them and very few incinerate the solid and semisolid ones.
The study has shown that most of the respondents used improper methods to dispose of unwanted medicines, and this can pose a great danger as children and some unscrupulous adults could lay hands on them. Some of these products could also be found in water bodies and may harm some aquatic lives. Health and environmental authorities should enact policies that will help avoid improper disposal of medicines.
How to cite this article:
Samuel N. Osei-Djarbeng, Gertrude O. Larbi, Rashida Abdul-Rahman, Samuel Osei-Asante, Raphael Owusu-Antwi. Household acquisition of medicines and disposal of expired and unused medicines at two suburbs (Bohyen and Kaase) in Kumasi – Ghana. Pharma Innovation 2015;4(8):85-88.