The pharmaceutical industry is strengthening its progressing techniques to treat the waste product day by day and minimize the use of reagents that are dangerous to the environment by scheming alternate synthesis pathways. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPS) are being used worldwide in large quantity each year and it is a matter of great concern to control the generation and treatment of waste because of it. Pharmaceutical waste is a form of medical waste that includes unexploited drugs, personal care products, such as cleansing pads, cotton pads, razors, and other supplies, exhibiting harmful effect to human and environmental health. As the pharmaceutical waste contains drugs, they are very reactive and cannot be disposed of like conventional waste and require special handling, whether it comes from a hospital, clinic, pharmacy or private household. So, knowledge of method of disposal of unused medicines should also equally be mandatory, similar to the knowledge of consumption of medicines. In past few years, it has been observed that several of pharmaceutical compounds like antidepressants; antibiotics, steroids, hormones, analgesics, antihypertensive, contraceptive etc. have been analyzed in water samples from ng/l to µg/l range. Humans, animals and aquatic life are highly affected by these pharmaceutical compounds though these are present in very small quantity but bear a highly toxic effect. Environment and health are directly or indirectly affected by pharmaceutical effluents especially in the vicinity of pharmaceutical industrial zones.
The present review has mainly focused on the P and U listed waste according to environmental protection agency i.e. hazardous waste, their effect on environment as well as various techniques used for their management to reduce environmental toxicity. Moreover, we have also discussed about the admirable position of pharmacist to play a vital role to educate people about public health and environment.