Wyoming pharmacy working with local police to collect patients’ unwanted medications.
Allowing people to dispose of unwanted medications properly and safely, DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, October 29, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Previous take-back days on September 25, 2010, and April 25, 2011, collected more than 309 tons of medications by working with approximately 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, according to DEA. Until the agency completes the process of implementing the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, it will hold take-back days every 6 months.
The federal government calls prescription drug abuse the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and pharmacists have an important role to play in addressing the crisis.
As part of American Pharmacists Month, pharmacists can share information with patients about the October 29 take-back day activities in their area. State-specific DEA contact information is posted on the DEA website, along with information on finding a collection site near you and a DEA Partner Toolbox for those interested in working with DEA on this important initiative. More information about drug disposal is posted on the SMARxT Disposal website.
“DEA’s activities are helping to raise awareness of the importance of proper medication disposal,” Marcie Bough, PharmD, APhA Senior Director of Government Affairs, told pharmacist.com. “Pharmacies who already have voluntary take-back programs for noncontrolled substances may wish to use this opportunity to highlight their programs to further increase awareness as these programs are generally not limited to a single day.”
In Laramie, WY, Express Pharmacy will set aside a separate room for the take-back day this Saturday, owner Dave Athey, BSPharm, told pharmacist.com. At the drive-up windows, pharmacy staff will take medications from patients to give them to local police. Police officers will isolate the take-back medications in the room. Researchers from the University of Wyoming, including student pharmacists, will look at what types and quantities of medications are brought in.
“We’ve done it in the past. We’ve worked with police,” said Athey, who pushes locally for getting these unused medications out of local medicine cabinets. When patients die with “bags of stuff sitting around,” younger people may get narcotics, Athey explained. “These kids are getting medications from a relative,” he said.
Other times, medications are several years old, but older people may think they’re good, Athey said. Or there are duplicate therapies.
DEA gave local police money to support the take-back day, according to Athey.
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