Walgreens Expands Safe Drug Disposal Program

June 26, 2019

Walgreens launched a national effort to help consumers safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications year-round in all of its pharmacies.

Walgreens launched a national effort to help consumers safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications year-round in all of its pharmacies.

If the chain does not currently have a safe disposal kiosk, it will offer DisposeRx packets to help consumers safely discard unwanted medications, the company says in a prepared statement.

Walgreens says the company has delivered on the expansion of its safe drug disposal program announced last fall, at no cost to customers.

“We recognize the need to provide solutions to dispose of unwanted medications that meet the preferences of all our customers. By combining the availability of a take home drug disposal option with our existing safe medication disposal kiosks, 78 percent of Americans now live within five miles of a drug disposal option conveniently available in every Walgreens pharmacy,” says Lisa Badgley, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and retail operations. “We are proud to be the first retail pharmacy to make Drug Take Back Day available every day in our stores."

Trending: Maintain Control of Controlled Substances

Other features include:

  • Medication disposal kiosks available in 1,400 pharmacies in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Time-delay safes, designed to prevent diversion of controlled substances, have been installed in 6,500 pharmacies in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

  • To date, the program has collected more than 1.2 million pounds of unwanted prescriptions

To address the issue of safe disposal of unwanted medications, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has also coordinated a National Rx Take Back Day in April. A 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Health estimates that 6 million Americans have misused controlled substances, the agency says. The majority of reported abuse cases came from family or friends, and the prescriptions were stored in medicine cabinets in the home.