Rite Aid will install 100 medication disposal units in select pharmacies over the next year, the latest measure being taken by the retailer as part of its multi-pronged strategy to address drug abuse and misuse in the country. Rite Aid president and COO Kermit Crawford unveiled the first in-store disposal unit at a press conference Friday at a store in Lemoyne, Pa., joined by Pennsylvania secretary of drug and alcohol programs Jennifer Smith, Reps. Scott Perry and Sheryl Delozier and and Rite Aid senior vice president and chief communication officer Susan Henderson.
"Rite Aid is committed to doing its part to address this serious issue affecting our country and the availability of medication disposal units inside select Rite Aid pharmacies is an important next step in our comprehensive approach," said Crawford. "Our pharmacists, as medication experts, are often asked for information on how to properly dispose of medication that's no longer needed, so we are proud to be able to offer in-store disposal and DisposeRx packets as solutions to our patients and customers."
"Rite Aid's safe medication disposal program brings business sense to combatting the growing public health threat and tragedy that is the opioid crisis. This is one step in the comprehensive approach to stop opioid abuse, and I applaud Rite Aid for taking such great initiative. With the help of families, practitioners, public health experts, drug companies and community action, we can put a stop to the opioid abuse epidemic," said Perry.
Last week, the Camp Hill, Pa.-based pharmacy retailer announced that all of its more than 2,500 pharmacies would provide free DisposeRx packets to patients with new opioid prescriptions and patients with chronic opioid prescriptions every six months. DisposeRx packets contain a biodegradable powder that, when mixed with water in the prescription vial, dissolves drugs, forming a viscous gel that may be safely discarded in the trash. Rite Aid is the first pharmacy chain to offer DisposeRx packets.
The retailer also offers naloxone, a medication that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at all of its locations without a prescription. And its pharmacy benefit manager, EnvisionRx, a division of EnvisionRxOptions, offers an opioid and pain management program called EnvisionCare Pain Management.
In addition, the Rite Aid Foundation is addressing the issue of drug abuse and misuse and is working to create safe and healthy environments for children and teens.