Walgreens installing med disposal kiosks in 500 stores

February 9, 2016

Less than a week after FDA announced several measures aimed at curbing opioid abuse, Walgreens announced it would install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Less than a week after FDA announced several measures aimed at curbing opioid abuse, Walgreens announced it would install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Simultaneously, Walgreens said it would make naloxone available without a prescription at its pharmacies in 35 states and Washington, D.C., rolling out the program state-by-state throughout this year. Last week, Walgreens made naloxone available throughout New York State without a prescription. Ohio and Indiana will follow later this month.

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“As a pharmacy, we determined we could and should play a stronger role in reducing the misuse of medications and help reduce the rise in overdose deaths through the programs we are announcing today,” Walgreens President of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Richard Ashworth said at an event at the chain’s flagship store in Washington, D.C. “We need to make the safe disposal of medication easier, and these kiosks do that.”

DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said "Take-Back” programs are an important and easy way for the public to anonymously dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications.

"We look forward to the day when safe drug disposal options are commonplace and I hope this action [by Walgreens} inspires others to create similar programs," Rosenberg said.

The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies will be available during regular pharmacy hours and “will offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else,” Walgreens said.

The initial installation of the safe medication disposal kiosks has begun in California and is expected to be completed at more than 500 Walgreens locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C. this year.

 

“If regulations in other states are updated to allow for this program, we will expand their availability when allowed to. These kiosks will be strategically located to serve as many areas as possible, but they won't be in every location,” Walgreens spokesperson Michael Polzin told Drug Topics.

Meanwhile, Walgreens’ naloxone initiative will make the medication available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens nearly 8,200 stores. “In states where a prescription is required, Walgreens is available and eager to work with regulators to help update rules to allow for dispensing of naloxone without a prescription,” Walgreens said.