Disposal of out of date Veterinary Medicine

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The method of disposal used will depend on the type of product and the quantity involved.

  • It is illegal to supply a product after the expiry date shown on the pack.
  • Pending safe disposal, out of date stock should be stored separately and labelled in such a way that the stock cannot accidentally be supplied.
  • Some medicines (e.g. injectables) once they’re opened must be discarded after a period of time stated on the packaging, to ensure the stability and safety of the product. This period is usually 28 days after opening but it can be shorter or longer.

Any out of date products should be disposed of in accordance with the wording on the product literature.

It is not always possible, particularly with medicines with more than 6 months shelf life, but if possible, try to put in place an arrangement with suppliers and/or wholesalers to return product if it becomes out of date. This is most likely if the company has sold a lot of product under a quantity related deal or if the merchant has agreed to take short dated stock.

If not returned to a supplier then the product must be disposed of safely by someone who is ‘licensed’ to carry out such disposals. Examples of such companies are: Summerleaze, PCS, Peakes and there are many more.

The key issue is to have good stock control and ordering procedures to ensure that out of date stock is minimised. It is also important to keep good record keeping of the disposal of out of date stock.