Alexandria, Va. - Nov. 17, 2010
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today applauded the efforts of some of its members to unite to host what the organizers are calling The Great Peconic Take Back event serving the eastern Suffolk area of New York.
According to event organizer and NCPA member Bob Grisnik of Southrifty Drug, today, Wednesday, November 17 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., anyone wishing to safely dispose of their expired or otherwise unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications will be able to bring them to any of the 15 participating pharmacies of the newly formed Peconic Independent Pharmacy Association. The pharmacies ask that the medications be in their original, labeled containers, with the patient's name blacked out with permanent marker. The medications can be from any pharmacy and no personal identification is required. The service is free to the public.
"It's exciting to see community pharmacies working together to meet the growing patient demand for a safe and environmentally friendly way to discard unused medications. Programs like this should be voluntary but I hope many pharmacies seize the opportunity to create their own programs to meet the needs of their patients," said Robert J. Greenwood, NCPA President and pharmacy owner in Waterloo, IA.
The program is modeled after the NCPA program, Dispose My Meds, which was launched around the 40th anniversary of Earth Week in April via a partnership with NCPA and Sharps Compliance Inc. in order to address two pressing issues: drug diversion and environmental contamination. As part of the 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. To date more than 1,000 pharmacies in 48 states are participating in the program and have collected some 12,000 pounds of unused or expired medications. Participating pharmacies have noted increased foot traffic and new patients.
As medication experts, pharmacists can help patients get the most benefit from their medicine. When patients stop in to dispose of their unused medications they can speak with their pharmacist about why they discontinued their medication. A survey released by NCPA found that an astounding three-quarters of adults do not always take their prescription medicine as directed. Problems include forgetting to take a medication, taking less than the prescribed dosage or discontinuing usage. Community pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider and play a crucial role in improving adherence and serving as a key care contact as patients move through the health care system.
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, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% 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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