Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Pharmacy Administration

First Advisor

Erin Holmes

Relational Format



Introduction: IV solution wastage refers to IV medications made for a patient that remain unused by that patient for a variety of reasons, and have subsequently expired, or for other reasons cannot be used for another patient (recycled), and therefore must be disposed of. This problem is widespread across hospital pharmacies in the U.S. and the world. BMH-NM (Oxford) pharmacy utilizes many waste reduction strategies but has never monitored its IV solution wastage. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify the number of IV solutions wasted in a month and the subsequent financial loss in terms of drug cost, and categorize the wastage by drug name and drug class. Methods: This study was conducted using a cross-sectional, observational, prospective study design to quantify the amount of IV solution wastage that occurred at BMH-NM (Oxford). For 30 days in March, 2017, the researcher collected data from wasted IV solutions set aside by pharmacy technicians and calculated the drug cost. For each wastage indicator (number of bags and drug cost), the top 10 drugs and drug classes were ranked, and descriptive statistics were conducted to further visualize the impact. Results: From March 1, 2017, to March 30, 2017, the BMH-NM (Oxford) pharmacy wasted 285 bags of IV solution, resulting in a financial loss of $4025.66 in drug cost. There were 46 different types of drugs from 28 different drug classes. Conclusion: The financial loss from a single month of IV solution wastage was significant for a 217-bed rural hospital. A variety of drugs and drug classes were identified as targets for waste reduction. Potential causes for wastage were drug-specific, and both volume and cost of waste need to be considered for reducing overall IV solution wastage.



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