NCPA partners with Sharps for safe disposal of unused medications

June 15, 2010

More than 850 U.S. community pharmacies are participating in the "Dispose My Meds" campaign sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Sharps Compliance.

More than 850 U.S. community pharmacies are participating in the "Dispose My Meds" campaign sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and Sharps Compliance.

The campaign is designed to help consumers safely dispose of unused drugs at their local pharmacies. NCPA members can receive a discount on Sharps' TakeAway Environmental Return System, which includes medication drop boxes and patient return envelopes.

"Many participating pharmacists note that the ROI on this small cost includes increased community goodwill and the potential for new customers, since many competing chains are not offering such services," said Valerie Briggs, senior director of external communications and marketing outreach for NCPA in Alexandria, Va.

NCPA is working to get more pharmacies signed up. "We hope to have as many [pharmacies] as possible to meet the growing concern regarding the improper disposal of unwanted medicines," she said.

Still, not every state allows unused medication disposal. NCPA is encouraging pharmacists interested in participating to check with their pharmacy boards "to ensure that you are in full compliance with respective state pharmacy regulations," Briggs said.

Other groups are lauding the drug disposal program. "The 'Dispose My Meds' campaign and website is a great tool to help keep unused and expired medications out of the wrong hands," said Mary Elizabeth Elliott, vice president of communications, membership, and information technology for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.