EPA FAQ: What is the definition of pharmaceutical under the proposed rule?

EPA FAQ: What is the definition of pharmaceutical under the proposed rule?

Frequent Questions about the Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Proposed Rule

Question: What is the definition of pharmaceutical under the proposed rule?

Answer: The proposed definition of pharmaceutical is “any chemical or biological product that is intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, care, treatment, or prevention of disease or injury of a human or other animal; or any chemical or biological product that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body of a human or other animal. This definition includes, but is not limited to: dietary supplements as defined by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, residues of pharmaceuticals remaining in containers, personal protective equipment contaminated with pharmaceuticals, and clean-up material from spills of pharmaceuticals.”

EPA believes a broad definition of pharmaceutical will benefit the healthcare sector, which has struggled with complying with the industry-oriented framework of the RCRA regulations.


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