By Stephanie DuBois, Director, Marketing Communications
When you think of a pharmacist, the word “environmentalist” may not immediately come to mind, but those two words are synonymous when it comes to proper medication disposal. For years, pharmacists have been counseling patients not only on how and when to take their medications, but also on how to dispose of any leftover meds safely. From start to finish, pharmacists are there to help you with your prescription drug regimen, and community pharmacists continue to lead the charge when it comes to offering patients a safe, reliable resource for medication disposal through the Dispose My Meds™ program.
Since its inception in 2009, Dispose My Meds has collected over 200,000 pounds of medications at more than 1,600 participating community pharmacies across the country. (Note: certain restrictions may apply.) Unfortunately, far too many of the medications being dropped off for disposal are the result of waste from mail order pharmacies, which typically auto-ship medications to patients, whether or not the patient still needs the medication.
Community pharmacists have seen this waste for years. Our Waste Not, Want Not album contains more than 100 images of mail order waste and continues to grow each year.
To commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day today, NCPA is highlighting this egregious waste from mail order pharmacies on social media all week. The images speak for themselves—thousands of dollars of needless waste that cost taxpayers and beneficiaries money and time. If it wasn’t for community pharmacies stepping up to offer disposal programs in their communities, more medication waste could end up in our waterways and landfills—or in the wrong hands.
Check out the latest examples of mail order waste on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts and share your own examples using the hashtag #mailorderwaste. (Be sure to remove or black out all patient and other personal information before posting photos.)
Encourage your patients to get involved and oppose more mail order requirements in government-run programs like TRICARE, Medicare, and the VA. Join the fight at www.Fight4Rx.org and www.facebook.com/Fight4Rx. And don’t forget to share your stories online using #mailorderwaste.