ALEXANDRIA, Va. - July 28, 2010
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today reported on the first phase of the Dispose My Meds program that was launched in conjunction with Sharps Compliance Inc. during the 40th anniversary of Earth Week from April 17-24 and has since continued to grow.
“NCPA commends these local pharmacists for voluntarily providing this valuable community service to help keep prescription drugs out of our water and to limit the potential for abuse of these medications,” said Joseph H. Harmison, PD, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Arlington, TX.
NCPA and Sharps Compliance Inc. announced their partnership and launched the program earlier this year in order to address two pressing issues: environmental contamination and drug diversion. To date, the initiative has safely discarded approximately 8,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs – representing nearly 11,336,000 million doses if measured in a typical two-pill dose – the equivalent of one dose for every resident from a state the size of Ohio.
Patients were asked to complete a survey to provide some information about the medication they were disposing and feedback about the program. Survey respondents indicated that:
NCPA also asked community pharmacists for their views of the program. Of pharmacists surveyed, 62% believed their relationship with patients had been enhanced as a result of the program. This is important because the U.S. wastes $290 billion every year on the inappropriate use of prescription drugs, according the New England Healthcare Institute. Pharmacists have the training to help mitigate this problem.
“Pharmacists place a premium on monitoring what prescription drugs are taken, how they interact with other drugs, how effective they are, and what side-effects they might cause as way to ensure patients are getting the maximum results,” said Harmison. “The Dispose My Meds program is another avenue to allow pharmacists to apply their clinical patient care skills and to promote proper adherence to the patient’s prescription medication regimen.”
Now, nearly 1,000 independent community pharmacies in 47 states are participating in the program. Participating pharmacies and more information can be found at www.disposemymeds.org.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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