SAN DIEGO, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — CareFusion (NYSE:
CFN), a leading global medical technology company, today
announced it has acquired technology to automate the segregation of
pharmaceutical waste, helping hospitals reduce cost, improve
regulatory controls and facilitate environmental
The problem of pharmaceutical waste is likely to reach a
dangerous level, with U.S. hospitals purchasing more than 4 billion
vials, bottles and ampoules containing hazardous materials and
generating more than 84,000 tons of hazardous waste annually.
According to a recent U.S. Geological survey, pharmaceutical waste
was found in 80 percent of sampled water streams, contaminating
drinking water. In 2008, another study found a vast array of
pharmaceutical drugs present in the drinking water of 41 million
American homes and in 24 major metropolitan areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been ramping up
enforcement nationwide. Hospitals may be fined up to $37,500 per
infraction, per day, for improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
Recently, a government-owned hospital was fined $51,501 and ordered
to spend $500,000 to develop a program for pharmaceutical waste
management; another large cancer hospital was fined $372,254 for
improper handling and storage of hazardous pharmaceutical
With the acquisition of Vestara, a Calif.-based company
focused exclusively on developing solutions for the
management of pharmaceutical waste, CareFusion expands its