Jun 1, 2018
Drug Take-Back in the States
Properly disposing of and storing medications is a critical part of using medicines safely. Many households have leftover, expired, or unused prescriptions that could be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands or contaminate the environment. Fortunately, consumers today have access to safe medicine drop-off locations that allow for the proper disposal of unneeded medications. Police stations, pharmacies, hospitals, and health clinics across the country have set up medication take-back programs with drop boxes for community members to anonymously submit unused pills, capsules, patches and more, with no questions asked. These programs safely dispose of medicines through incineration or other methods that reduce contamination risks. Utilizing these convenient take-back services helps prevent misuse and protects local landfills and water sources. Consumers can find out the drug disposal location nearest to them by accessing www.myoldmeds.com
Storing medications securely at home until they can be dropped off is also important. Keeping medicines in a locked cabinet or safe where children or teens cannot access them reduces risks of accidental ingestion, theft, or recreational use. Promoting existing drug disposal options alongside safe storage procedures ensures households are equipped to use medicines responsibly.
Some states and localities are attempting to implement manufacturer-funded drug take-back programs when there are a plethora of existing disposal options.
CHPA opposes mandatory manufacturer-funded drug take-back programs as they threaten the affordability of OTC medications that consumers rely on as the first line of defense against common ailments. Instead, state and local governments should support programs that educate consumers about the expansive existing drug disposal options around the country.