Medication waste is defined as items intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or animals. Medication waste is synonymous with drug waste, pharmaceutical waste, unused or expired medication, unused or expired drugs, prescription and over-the-counter human drugs, veterinary drugs, diagnostic agents, and nutritional supplements.
Pharmaceutical waste is any leftover, unused or expired medication that is no longer needed or can no longer be used. It can be classified as either hazardous or non-hazardous depending on its chemical properties and its risk to humans and the environment. There are different requirements for disposing of hazardous versus non-hazardous pharmaceuticals.