Bruce T. Roberts is the executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association in Alexandria, Va.
medications, when utilized properly, can indeed be “miracle drugs,”
but what’s a patient to do when these pills expire or go unused?
Experience has shown that improper drug disposal can harm the environment and
contribute to drug abuse and accidental ingestions.
During the recent 40th anniversary of Earth Week, more than 800 community
pharmacies across the country launched a “Dispose My Meds”
campaign, coordinated by the National Community Pharmacists Association. At www.disposemymeds.org
patients can learn about the negative impact of improper medication disposal
and find a participating pharmacy. In the Washington, DC area, disposal options
include the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Alexandria, Leesburg Pharmacy in Leesburg
and a number of pharmacies in the Baltimore area.
The need to properly dispose of unused prescription medication is evident. More
than 2.1 million children ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs in
2008. That’s second only to marijuana use, according to the U.S.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The same survey found
the majority of teens obtain these prescription medications through family or