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Table 1 Comparison between the policies, collection and funding systems, regarding household medical waste in six selected countries

From: Household medical waste disposal policy in Israel

Country National drug collection program Legislation Collection method Funding Medical collected (weight)/collection rates (annual)
USA Some programs are run by the DEA [23], specific counties [25], and by local communities [42] The law enables hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and drug producers to collect unused drugs [22]. In several counties and in one state (MA) there are legislations regarding forcing pharmaceutical companies to fund the collection and destruction of household medical waste [2628] Drug collection events, secured drop boxes, collection by law enforcement agencies and pharmacies [2325, 43] Usually DEA, law enforcement agencies and NGOs [20]. In specific counties, the Pharmaceutical companies [27] 0.01 kg/capita [44]
Canada Most of the provinces and territories run such programs (See Table 3) Household medical waste laws in several provinces [17, 18] Drug collection events, secured drop boxes, and pharmacies [17, 18] Government/pharmaceutical industry/pharmacies [17, 18] Varies between provinces (on average 0.01-0.02 kg/capita) [18, 45, 46]
Hungary Recyclomed [15, 47] The law obliges the pharmaceutical industry to establish and operate a disposal system or give this duty to another organization [15] Pharmacies and other selling points, containers in specific collection points [15] Pharmaceutical Industry Groups [15] 0.02 kg/capita [15]
UK No program According to the UK environmental protection act and additional regulations, all Pharmacies are obliged to accept back unwanted medicines from patients [48]. All Pharmacies and hospitals [16, 48]. In addition, there are several local initiatives for collecting medical waste from homes [49] Local governments [15]. Not available
Australia RUM (Return Unwanted Medicines) [31] Each state and territory have their own regulation regarding medicine disposal (embedded in the Drugs and Poisons Acts of each individual state) Special containers mounted in all pharmacies [31] Funded by the government until end of June 2018; then will be reconsidered. [31] 0.03 kg/capita [31]
Israel No program No legislation HMO pharmacies are obliged to receive medicines from the public. The Israeli Ministry of Health 13.9 % of the population [40]