News & Press: For Immediate Release

Drug Take-Back Program Launches in Four Oklahoma Pharmacies

Wednesday, December 21, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Suzy Whalen
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2016

Contact:

Vivian Fuhrman, PSI – vivian@productstewardship.us – (617) 236-4771
Suzy Whalen, PSI – suzy@productstewardship.us - (617) 236-8293
Erin Hatfield, DEQ erin.hatfield@deq.ok.gov (405)702-7119

 

Drug Take-Back Program Launches in Four Oklahoma Pharmacies
Brings first pharmacy-based collection site to Stillwater, Moore, Pawnee
Expands take-back infrastructure and convenience in Oklahoma City

 

Oklahoma — Today, four pharmacies throughout Oklahoma will begin collecting leftover pharmaceuticals from residents free of charge. Designed and implemented by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), this drug take-back pilot program offers county residents convenient locations to dispose of their leftover medications – just one part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce the public health and environmental impacts of unwanted drugs.

Sponsored by DEQ, the six-month pilot program will use pharmacy-based collection receptacles and public education to facilitate the proper disposal of leftover pharmaceuticals. The locked collection receptacles, acquired through Assured Waste Solutions, allow residents to dispose of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) drugs (schedule II-V) for free, no questions asked. The pilot program is informed by PSI’s How-to Guide for Pharmacy-Based Drug Take-Back and an Advisory Committee consisting of public and private-sector take-back experts, including Covanta, state and local government agencies, environmental groups, and others.

“Medications that are thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet are released into the environment,” said DEQ’s Land Protection Division Assistant Division Director, Fenton Rood. “These pharmacies are helping to explore a responsible answer for these problems.”

Over $1 billion in leftover drugs are thrown in the trash, flushed, or consigned to medicine cabinets each year across the country. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., and nearly 70 percent of people who begin using prescription drugs non-medically get them from a family member or friend, often from medicine cabinets. Unfortunately, over 860 Oklahoma residents passed away due to drug overdoses in 2014. Drugs left in the home also put seniors, children, and pets at risk for accidental poisoning. When flushed or put in the trash, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can contaminate our drinking water and harm aquatic species.

“Pharmacies are the most convenient, accessible location for residents to safely dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of PSI. “This pilot program provides easy collection of leftover drugs from citizens and will serve as a model for pharmacies across Oklahoma and the U.S.”

Participating pharmacies include:

  • Razooks Pharmacy, 1518 W 9th Ave, Stillwater, OK – (405) 377-4445
    • Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am – 7:00pm; Sat 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Moore Rx Pharmacy, 2018 S. I-35 Service Road, Moore, OK – (405) 735-5101
    • Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am – 6:00pm; Sat 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • Family Health Pharmacy, 10021 S. Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK – (405) 692-3370
    • Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am – 6:00pm
  • Pawnee Indian Health Center, 1201 Heritage Circle, Pawnee, OK – (918) 762-6557
    • Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am – 4:30pm

“As a pharmacy owner, I recognize the dire need for convenient locations where local residents can safely dispose of their unwanted and expired medications,” said Matt Baker, PharmD, from Family Health Pharmacy in Oklahoma City. "Not only are we proud to provide a critical service to our community, but our business also benefits from heightened customer loyalty, foot traffic, and community awareness."

Learn more about PSI’s work on pharmaceuticals on the PSI website, or contact Vivian Fuhrman at (617) 236-4771.  


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