Medication is a term used to described pharmaceutical drugs, medicines that have various chemical substances that are intended to be used in medical diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention. The medications are classified in many categories, depending on their chemical properties. The classification is also done depending on the delivery method, biological content, and also the therapeutically effects. These medications are classified by the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC system). You can find a full list on these medicines on the World Health Organization site. They update that list regularly.
Medications are divided into 2 main categories: OTC – over the counter and POM – medicines with prescription needed. There are also BTMs – behind the counter medicines and they are only in some jurisdictions. They are not available for the public and only sold to technicians and professionals.
Depending on the regulations in each country, a medicine can be accepted in one and refused in another. Each country has its own licensing program and its own rules. For example, in some countries the medicines containing cannabis are offered for sale and in other countries they are not.
The Environmental Impact
After the 90s the problem of throwing away medicinal by products has become very important. Nowadays there are very strict rules concerning that. The pharmaceuticals are deposited in a proper environment and the water leakage is maintained under control.
Some of the medicines are reused as fertilizers and put back into the environment after being treated with various substances. Once they are safe they can be disposed of. Other problems include the storage. Some medicines need special storage requirements or else the active substances will stop working. There are many rules involving that also and regarding proper ways of transportation. Many of these rules are international but each country has the right to adapt them as they want.
Photo credit: Sam Catchesides on Flickr