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Walgreens Expands Safe Drug Disposal Program


June 25, 2019

Walgreens has announced it will expand its safe drug disposal program that was introduced last fall. The company said it will now provide year-round drug disposal options in all of its pharmacies at no cost to patients.  

According to Walgreens, all of its pharmacies that do not currently offer a safe medication disposal kiosk, will now offer DisposeRx packets or other drug disposal options that are available upon request.  

In a statement, Walgreens said that the DisposeRx packets contain a blend of solidifying materials. They explained that water and the powder in these packets should be added to unwanted medications. Once shaken and mixed, the drugs become unavailable and unusable, which allows for safe disposal at home.

“We recognize the need to provide solutions to dispose of unwanted medications that meet the preferences of all our customers,” Lisa Badgley, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and retail operations, said in a statement. “By combining the availability of a take home drug disposal option with our existing safe medication disposal kiosks, 78% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a drug disposal option conveniently available in every Walgreens pharmacy.”

Along with the DisposeRx packets, Walgreens offers safe medication disposal kiosks in 1400 of its pharmacies across 46 states and Washington DC. According to the company, these kiosks have collected and led to the safe disposal of more than 1.2 million pounds of unwanted prescriptions.  

“Both resources make the disposal of medications easier and more convenient, while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths,” the company wrote in a statement. 

Walgreens noted that it has expanded its use of secure time delay safes in more than 6500 of its pharmacies. These are designed to prevent diversion of controlled substances by averting the accessibility of narcotic medications by unauthorized individuals. Further, the pharmacy also stocks naloxone in all of its locations, and patients can obtain the medication without requiring a prescription.  

“We are proud to be the first retail pharmacy to make Drug Take Back Day available every day in our stores," Ms Badgley said.  

Julie Gould

Reference:

Walgreens. Walgreens Implements Safe Drug Disposal Options for Customers in All of Its Pharmacies [press release]. https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-implements-safe-drug-disposal-options-for-customers-in-all-of-its-pharmacies.htm. Published online June 24, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019.

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