Sorting involves an initial overall evaluation of the stockpile and subsequent division of pharmaceuticals into those suitable for use and those to be discarded. For those to be discarded a decision is made on the best method of disposal. To be efficient items should only be handled once. Pharmaceuticals suitable for use should remain in their packaging. The pharmaceuticals to be discarded should, when necessary, be separated from their packaging as late in the process as possible.
The sorting process includes:
• identifying each item;
• making a decision on whether it is usable;
• if usable, leaving packaging intact;
• if not usable, making a judgement on the optimal method of disposal and sorting accordingly;
• leaving packages and boxes intact until reaching their location, prior to definitive disposal or transport to an institution for use.