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Medicine Dumpsters for Unwanted Drugs Installed by Drugstores

Medicine Dumpsters for Unwanted Drugs Installed by Drugstores
Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL), places his hand on a Safe Medication Disposal box after an event unveiling a multi-state program to combat opioid abuse in the U.S. at a Walgreens store on Feb. 9, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 April 2018 02:34 PM

Medicine dumpsters are being installed by drugstores in a bid to make it easier for customers to dispose of leftover prescription drugs.

With the U.S. in the grip of a worsening opioid crisis, drug disposal programs are one way of addressing the issue.

At the helm of this initiative is Walgreens and CVS Health, which have both introduced hundreds of drug disposal units to stores across the country and are making provision to introduce hundreds more in the coming months, CNBC News reported.

According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 64,070 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, with about three-fourths of these being a result of opioids, CBS News said.

In the past, people could typically only dispose of their left-over prescriptions by taking them in to local police departments. In 2014, in response to the growing opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued regulations making it legal for pharmacies to take back these medicines, CNBC said.

Now certain drug supply chains are installing safe medication disposal kiosks.

Walgreens explained in a statement that people can simply bring their unused medication into selected branches and drop them into the medication kiosk, which works like a mailbox.

The medication is then collected by a company that specializes in disposing of pharmaceuticals and is then incinerated.

"We know firsthand patients are looking for solutions," said Rick Gates, Walgreens' senior vice president of pharmacy operations, per CNBC. "We asked patients, and what we heard was bringing medications back to pharmacies felt like the right thing to do because they're the places they go to pick up their prescriptions."

Walgreens has introduced 600 drug disposal units since 2016 and plans to add kiosks to another 900 stores. CVS Health, which has donated more than 800 units to police departments, is installing 750 kiosks to its stores.

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Drugstores are installing medicine dumpsters to make it easier for customers to dispose of leftover prescription drugs.
medicine, dumpsters, unwanted, drugs
Monday, 16 April 2018 02:34 PM
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