PARADE Magazine’s July 4 article featuring NCPA’s prescription drug disposal program has sparked a new wave of interest among patients and pharmacists in the Dispose My Meds initiative.
Under the program, launched by NCPA and Sharp’s Compliance, Inc. during Earth Week 2010 in April, patients can either discard unused or expired medication at participating pharmacies or receive postage-paid envelopes to mail the drugs on their own. (Additional restrictions apply to controlled substances and participating pharmacies should consult their state board of pharmacy about their state’s rules).
Patients can find the closest participating pharmacy by going to www.disposemymeds.org and entering their zip code. As mentioned in a prior post on potential Congressional drug disposal legislation, nearly 1,000 community pharmacies are partaking in the voluntary program. They’ve told NCPA that patients appreciate having access to an environmentally friendly disposal option as well as getting the expired or unused drugs out of the reach of curious children or pets at home. And many pharmacists appreciate the opportunity to introduce new potential customers to their pharmacy.
Since publication of the PARADE story, each day about 5,000 unique visitors have checked out the Dispose My Meds Web site. Calls to NCPA from patients and pharmacists about the program have increased as well. “I just learned of your group in our Sunday PARADE magazine and was delighted to think that there is a solution to all the outdated prescriptions,” one woman told us, stating a theme echoed by many. “I have been trying to get help in this area.”
Stacey Swartz, Co-owner and Pharmacist in Charge of the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray here in Alexandria, Va., saw an immediate uptick in interest during the July 4 holiday weekend. “A new customer just dropped off a supply of expired medications and mentioned the article,” she wrote. “How exciting! And we picked up a new customer too.”