Over 100,000 Pounds of Unwanted Drugs Collected by NCPA Dispose My Meds Program

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Alexandria, Va. - Oct. 23, 2012 The NCPA Dispose My Meds program, designed for community pharmacy owners to offer an environmentally friendly option to dispose of unwanted drugs, has met a milestone with the collection of over 100,000 pounds of unused or expired non-narcotic medications from patients and communities since the initiative's launch in 2010.

"It is fitting that we meet this milestone now as we commemorate American Pharmacists Month," said Donnie Calhoun, RPh, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Anniston, Ala. "The community pharmacies that voluntarily offer drug disposal services via programs like Dispose My Meds are building better relationships with patients as they counsel them to get the most benefit from their medicine and safely dispose of it when necessary."

The NCPA Dispose My Meds program features over 1,600 independent community pharmacies nationwide at which consumers may be able to dispose of unused, non-controlled medications with postage-paid envelopes or participate in onsite programs where pharmaceuticals are collected and disposed of properly. The Dispose My Meds effort builds on and includes the success of the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) TakeAway™ state drug disposal program launched in November 2009.

Kate Gainer, IPA's Executive Vice President and CEO, advocates, "TakeAway is a remarkable win/win/win program. It allows for patients to conveniently dispose of their medications while avoiding contamination of the environment. Removing expired or unwanted medications from the home prevents accidental ingestion and drug misuse. Plus, it is a program that allows community pharmacists to be part of the solution to the problem of improper disposal. We are excited to collaborate with NCPA in marking this milestone of 100,000 pounds of medications collected by IPA and NCPA members."

As part of the Dispose My Meds program, NCPA members receive nearly 20 percent in discounts with shipping included on the products from the Sharps TakeAway Environmental Return System, along with free customizable marketing materials and a listing on our companion consumer website, www.disposemymeds.org. Currently, controlled medications are prohibited from being returned through disposal programs such as Dispose My Meds. Participating pharmacies have noted increased foot traffic and conversion of new patients.

"We are proud to work with NCPA and its membership to more efficiently and effectively address the problem pharmacists, patients and communities face with unused patient medication," said Claude A. Dance, Sharps Compliance Inc., Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. "These materials will now be kept out of our nation's landfills, waterways and harm's way and instead, be used to generate commercial electricity. Based on materials already returned, the NCPA program has generated electricity to power over 38 homes for a year."

Many of these participating pharmacies have collected includes thousands of dollars in returned medication from mail order pharmacies. An NCPA report entitled, "Waste Not, Want Not" documents, through pictures and cost estimates for each unused product, the problem of medication waste associated with mail order pharmacies. The presentation has been delivered before the U.S. Congress in multiple hearings.

For more information or to get involved, pharmacists can visit www.ncpanet.org or www.disposemymeds.org.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.5 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40 percent of all retail prescriptions, and employ 300,000 people, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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