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Pfizer and Waste Management Launch Online Pharmaceutical Disposal Guide

Health care providers can sustainably manage disposal of any Pfizer drug product with online search engine that provides waste categorization and disposal information

NEW YORK & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and WM Healthcare Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., (NYSE: WM) today jointly announced the introduction of a new, free-of-charge, online pharmaceutical disposal guide for health care providers and facilities called the “Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor®.” Pfizer is the first pharmaceutical company to make this resource available to health care professionals to help guide them through sometimes complex waste disposal requirements.

In support of Pfizer’s commitment to product stewardship and the company’s efforts to manage the environmental impact of its products across their lifecycle, Pfizer enlisted the technology of WM Healthcare Solutions’ patented PharmE® Waste Wizard®, commonly referred to as the Waste Wizard. The Waste Wizard is an online search engine that provides waste categorization and disposal information for health care facilities, including physician practices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and walk-in clinics.

Waste Wizard information found on Pfizer’s Responsible Disposal Advisor informs health care professionals whether the Pfizer drug to be disposed will be a hazardous waste based on the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations that implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In addition to any relevant waste codes, the Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor powered by the Waste Wizard recommends disposal options for full, partial, and empty containers, and provides U.S. Department of Transportation shipping descriptions. Certain commonly used drugs become hazardous waste when health care facilities including pharmacies decide to discard them either because the drugs are specifically listed as hazardous by EPA or because they exhibit one or more of the characteristics of hazardous waste specified by EPA.

“Health care facilities often face complicated requirements to manage their waste streams,” said Tom Polton, Senior Director, Product Stewardship, Pfizer. “The Pfizer Responsible Drug Advisor® using WM Healthcare Solutions’ Waste Wizard technology offers an easy-to-use online resource to help hospitals, long-term care facilities, medical clinics, and doctors’ offices determine the disposal recommendations for unused medicines.”

“According to EPA, health care employees, retail pharmacy staff, and other pharmaceutical waste generators are often unfamiliar with or confused by RCRA hazardous waste management requirements, sometimes making it difficult to properly dispose of hazardous pharmaceutical waste,” said Mike McInerney, Vice President of WM Healthcare Solutions. “With Pfizer’s support, we can now make this information available to the health care community at no charge to encourage proper disposal.”

The information provided in the Pfizer Responsible Disposal Advisor® does not apply to medicines discarded by consumers. Consumers wishing to dispose of unwanted medicines should consult U.S. FDA’s website. Consumers wishing to take advantage of unused medicines take-back programs in their communities should contact their local police or public health agencies.

Pfizer customers can access the Responsible Disposal Advisor at and through the Professional Resources link on the home page of

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world™

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at

About Waste Management and WM Healthcare Solutions

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is one of the largest residential recyclers and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the U.S. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, visit

WM Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (WMHS) provides cost-effective, sustainable environmental solutions specifically designed for healthcare customers. As a subsidiary of Waste Management, North America’s leading environmental solutions company, WMHS uses a vast infrastructure and specialized materials-management expertise, including resource recovery, reuse, and recycling. We help healthcare customers streamline their operations, maintain regulatory compliance, reduce risk, minimize resource use, maximize profitability, and safeguard their patients, communities, and the environment. WM Healthcare Solutions serves health care organizations throughout the United States. To learn more, visit

Grace Ann Arnold, 845-602-4768
Waste Management
Carrie Griffiths, 603-929-3350


Posted: September 2012