Eco-pharmacology: awareness and practice of drug disposal among medical students

Manjunath G. Narasimhaiah, Aathira James, Riyaj A. Kalaburgi


Background: Drugs are procured by the consumers from different sources. But most of the time it is in excess of the requirement, or not consumed completely. These unused drugs are disposed in a wrong manner which can lead to harmful effects on the environment. This study was to check the knowledge and practice by medical students.

Methods: It was cross sectional observational study involving different batches of medical students by giving a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results: A total of 165 participants (72 males, 93 females) from different batches of MBBS, predominantly 1st and 2nd year. Majority of them are aware of the term eco-pharmacology 70 (91%) and environmental effects 86 (06%). The most common mode of procurement is with prescription and possesses more than 50% of the expired drugs. Throwing back into the dustbin was the mode of disposal.

Conclusions: There is poor knowledge of drug disposal behaviour. Sufficient training should be given to the medical students to protect the ecosystem.


Eco-pharmacology, Medical students, Hazards, Environment

Full Text:



Sreekanth TR, J Pharmacovigilance; 2014:2(5). Available at ecopharmacology-overview-15716/html. Accessed on 4 December 2019.

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in the Environment. Available at https://www. Accessed on 4 December 2019.

Bhati I, Dhawan NG, Maheshwari RK. Greener Route to Prevent Pharmaceutical Pollution. Int J Pharmaceutical Chemical Sci. 2013;2(4):2277-5005.

Gautam V, Sahni YP, Jain SK, Shrivastav A. Eco-pharmacovigilance: an environment safety issue. Pharma Innovation J. 2018;7(5):234-9.

Shubha P, Gramle A, Reddy S. Drug Disposing Behavior and Awareness of the Concept of Eco-pharmacovigilance Among the Medical Faculty. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2017;6(5):1142-5.

Rahman SZ, Khan RA, Gupta V, Uddin M. Pharmacoenvironmentology: a component of pharmacovigilance. Environmental Health. 2007;6(20):1-3.

Rashid M, Chhabra M, Kashyap A, Undela K, Gudi SK. Prevalence and Predictors of Self-Medication Practices in India: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis. Current Clin Pharmacol. 2019;14:1.

Prakash V, Green RE, Pain DE, Ranade SP, Saravanan S, Prakash N, et al. Recent changes in populations of resident Gyps vultures in India. J Bombay Natural History Society. 2007;104:129-35.

Agnesh, Valluri. Eco-pharmacology: In the Offing. Int J Scientific Res Publications. 2016;6(1):2250-3153.

Wise R. Anti-microbial resistance: Priorities of action. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2002;49:585-6.

Green G. Understanding NSAIDs: from aspirin to COX-2. Clin Cornerstone. 2001;3:50-60.

Aditya S. Safe medication disposal: Need to sensitize undergraduate students. Int J Pharm Life Sci. 2013;4:2475-80.

Sasu S, Kummerer K, Kranert M. Assessment of pharmaceutical waste management at selected hospitals and homes in Ghana. Waste Manag Res. 2012;30:625-30.