An ongoing problem for cities and communities across the country is the safe and proper disposal of prescription medication. A lack of patient awareness and education on safe drug disposal practices is a leading cause of continued drug disposal that does not meet federal regulations for safe medication waste. Pharmacists are in an optimum role to provide this information to patients although many pharmacies do not educate patients on their options for disposing of medication and this is especially true for pharmacies that do not contain a prescription dropbox.
Challenges in Maintaining Prescription Dropboxes
Pharmacies that maintain prescription dropboxes face challenges in maintaining the program such as security, cost and overall management. When a dropbox gets full, it cannot be used until it is emptied. More dropboxes have been available since federal legislation in 2014 allowed for retail stores to utilize them in their stores year-round. As recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the drugs are then collected and typically taken for incineration to be disposed of as hazardous waste. The EPA recommends this method of disposal as many facilities prior to the most recent rulings would simply flush medications down the drain which had contributed to significant environmental contamination of the country’s lakes, streams, rivers and oceans.
These challenges can be discouraging for pharmacies to maintain prescription return dropboxes and a new study conducted by Portland State University confirms the challenges pharmacies face while offering a solution.
Study Finds Solution for Pharmacy Dropboxes
It is well documented that pharmacies that offer a prescription dropbox have a higher rate of patients that utilize the return system to follow safe drug disposal practices. Because of the challenges in maintaining them, many pharmacies do not offer this method of drug disposal for patients and lack in providing accurate information for safe drug disposal.
A study conducted by researchers at Portland State University led by Amy Ehrhart, a doctoral student in the Earth, Environment and Society program at PSU, finds that improving the effectiveness of prescription dropboxes is two-fold. First, legislation mandating pharmacy dropboxes would be helpful but secondly the pharmaceutical industry should fund them.
The study concluded that pharmacies with dropboxes had a higher rate of patients that used them and were informed about proper drug disposal methods. Other findings in the study conclude that:
- A pharmacy with a dropbox present was associated with increased customer awareness on proper prescription disposal and increased pharmacist recommendations for safe drug disposal.
- More than 1/3 of customers store their unused medications at home. When disposed, the most common method for consumer is to simply throw in the trash (27.5%), flush down the drain (15.8) or use a dropbox (8.3).
Pharmacists are in a unique position to help spread the word to patients about the importance of responsible drug disposal and give options for safely discarding medications.
Rx Destroyer™ Convenient Alternative for Pharmacies
For pharmacies that do not offer a dropbox and even those that do, Rx Destroyer™ can provide a convenient alternative for using a dropbox and would be available if the box was full. This would allow pharmacies to offer safe drug disposal for patients with a method that prevents drug diversion and environmental contamination.
Rx Destroyer™ Safe and Convenient for Home Use
Rx Destroyer™ is a safe and convenient method of disposing of unused medications and comes in various sizes for consumer use as well as corporate, large facilities and pharmaceutical companies. With a wide range of product sizes. The 16 oz. bottle is perfect for home use whereas the gallon container, 5-gallon or 30-gallon drum can meet the needs of larger facilities.
What makes Rx Destroyer™ unique is the patented* activated carbon formula, that quickly neutralizes medications on contact to render then non-retrievable. This prevents drug diversion as well as environmental contamination and is also an important part of federally compliant drug destruction. The activated carbon formula destroys drugs through chemical digestion, which is an approved method of drug destruction adhering to federal DEA regulations.
C2R Global Manufacturing is a leading pharmaceutical waste disposal company, offering Rx Destroyer™ to facilities and consumers. Our mission is to save lives, save the environment, one prescription at a time. Contact us to see how Rx Destroyer™ can help your pharmacy to improve safe and effective pharmaceutical waste disposal.