Walgreens’ disposal kiosks collect more than 885 tons of medication

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Walgreens’ disposal kiosks collect more than 885 tons of medication

By David Salazar - 10/16/2019

Walgreens has shared an update in its efforts to collect unwanted and unused medication at kiosks in its stores. The company on Wednesday reported that it had collected more than 885 tons of unwanted prescriptions as of Aug. 31

“We are proud to be the leader in making ‘drug take-back day’ available every day, just as we are grateful to the organizations across the health care community who have joined us to address the opioid epidemic,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and health care, Walgreens. “We recommend everyone utilize drug disposal options available throughout their community or participate in DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in effort to safely dispose of unwanted medications.”

Walgreens has been working with AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to expand the availability of the kiosks nationwide. Currently, there are more than 1,500  kiosks in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

“We are proud to be part of this effort and inspired by the results announced today. Pfizer is committed to helping reduce the harmful and intentional misuse of and accidental exposure to unwanted medicines,’ said Freda Lewis-Hall, executive vice president and chief patient officer at Pfizer. “We look forward to the continued success of this partnership in advancing safe drug disposal.”

Through a collaboration with Google, Walgreens locations that offer drug disposal now appear in searches for “drug drop off near me” and “medication disposal near me” on Google or in Google Maps. 

“Prime is thrilled to be a part of the success of this collaborative program that helps rid our homes and communities of unneeded controlled substances,” said Jonathan Gavras, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Prime Therapeutics. “Prime also continues to work upstream to help manage appropriate prescribing for high-risk opioid users, and we are proud to report we have reduced the number of people at risk by 89% over the past six years. Working both upstream and downstream, we all can play a role in ending this national opioid epidemic.”

Walgreens noted that in addition to its disposal kiosk efforts, it also has been expanding access to at-home disposal options and naloxone. The company has begun offering DisposeRx and other disposal options year-round upon request at the pharmacy counter. It also can dispense naloxone, including Narcan nasal spray, throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The company also has installed time-delay safes in more than 8,600 of its pharmacies. 

Walgreens said that it will once again be participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 26, with select stores serving as collection points for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications. 

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