African Journal of Biotechnology

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An assessment of pharmaceutical waste management in some Nigerian pharmaceutical industries

NC Ngwuluka, NA Ochekpe, PO Odumosu


Thirty four (34) of the fifty (50) selected Nigerian based pharmaceutical businesses, mainly acting as local manufacturers and major importers of medicines were interviewed using questionnaires to ascertain their waste management practices, knowledge of waste management policies and subjection to regulatory control. This study indicated that like its counterpart industry in other countries of the world, the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry generated both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. However, the wastes were not categorized, poorly managed by 91.2% of the respondents, while 58.8% of the health and safety personnel had little or no modern knowledge of waste management. Furthermore, 73.5% of the respondents claimed that they were aware of the regulatory requirements on waste, but no adherence was observed. The industry did not benefit from the strict supervisions of regulatory agencies. Pharmaceutical waste was improperly disposed and all the secondary manufacturers (79.4%) discharged wastewater without removal of pharmaceuticals. This study highlighted the urgent need to train personnel in the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory authorities. Management of waste should be planned, documented, implemented and sustained.

Key words: Pharmaceutical waste, pharmaceuticals, wastewater, waste management, environment, regulatory authorities, effluent.
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