Earth Day: Drug Take-Back

Drug Take-Back Event and Medication Disposal

As a community pharmacist, you are a patient’s trusted healthcare expert. Your patients trust you to tell them how to take their medications, but many don’t know what to do with their medications once they expire or no longer need them. Recent studies have shown that patients are confused on the advised ways to safely dispose of their prescription and over the counter drugs1.

Earth Day and Medication Disposal Education

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity for your pharmacy to host a Drug Take-Back event and increase community awareness on safe medication disposal techniques. Many initiatives have been set forth by agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Community Pharmacy Association to highlight the lapse in knowledge surrounding this issue and the varied negative impacts it creates.

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that half of the individuals surveyed admitted to flushing medications down the toilet2. There is growing evidence that medications flushed down drains can contaminate water supplies, causing concern about the long term health and environmental impacts. Still, less than 20% of Americans have received professional guidance on how to properly dispose of their medications2.

How a Drug Take-Back Event Can Benefit Your Pharmacy

Many individuals visit their pharmacist more often than any other health care provider. Offering additional services beyond dispensing medication, such as medication disposal, truly makes your pharmacy a healthcare destination. Such an event offers an opportunity to start a dialogue with your patients about any concerns or questions they may have about their current health. Opening these pathways of communication can increase the potential to retain current patients. Additionally, hosting ancillary events provides another opportunity to create foot traffic within your pharmacy. This can highlight additional areas of service within your pharmacy with the potential to increase revenue opportunities.

 

  1. http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/pharmawater_site/sept15a.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17090787


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