Walgreens has joined the Sustainable Medicines Partnership as a founding sponsor.
The initiative aims to collaborate and execute projects that make the use of medicines more sustainable and less wasteful.
“Walgreens is committed to the safe disposal of medications, and we are proud to advance those efforts through this initiative,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and health care at Walgreens. “As a founding member of the Sustainable Medicines Partnership, we can explore ways together to provide more equitable access to medicines, reduce the environmental impact from packaging and further programs to decrease waste from medications.”
With the help of Walgreens, the Sustainable Medicines Partnership serves as a four-year commitment to deliver evidence-based, integrated projects that include scalable solutions, frameworks, standards and metrics, as well as implementation tool kits, the companies said.
Each project will be led by the partnership’s six pillars of sustainable medicines — measurable impacts, end-to-end visibility, better shelf life, digital by default, every dose use and sustainable packaging.
As a founding sponsor, Walgreens will serve as part of the organization’s steering committee, approve measurable outcomes and impacts, and work alongside other industries and organizations to measure the carbon footprint of medicines and identify opportunities for optimizing their use to reduce waste, according to the partnership.
The SMP partnership builds on Walgreens’ safe medication disposal program launched in 2016 that has collected and properly disposed of more than 3 million lbs. of unwanted and unused medication. Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks, available during regular pharmacy hours, help to ensure expired or unwanted medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused, and provide a convenient, no-cost solution to dispose of medications year-round.