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Walgreens medication disposal program nets over 270 tons of unused meds

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has reported that its safe medication disposal program has collected and safely disposed of more than 270 tons of medications, or the equivalent of about 150 cars, since the launch of the program in 2016. The program is said to make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.

Walgreens has installed more than 600 safe medication disposal kiosks at its pharmacies across 45 states and Washington, D.C. to allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost.

The 270 tons of medication collected is an additional 115 tons since the company announced its partnership last fall with leading health care organizations AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to expand the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens stores. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in approximately 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.

Since the launch of the expansion, collections have reached nearly 40% of the organizations’ goal to collect an additional 300 tons of unwanted medication in two years.

“We continue to be truly inspired by the response of the safe medication disposal program from communities around the country,” Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare said in a statement. “We are excited to continue our expansion program and believe it serves as an excellent example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

As part of its continuing effort to combat drug abuse, Walgreens will again participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held on Saturday, April 28. In addition to Walgreens stores with year-round safe medication disposal kiosks, other select Walgreens stores throughout the country will serve as a collection point on April 28 for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.

Safe medication disposal kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

To learn more about safe medication disposal efforts visit Walgreens.com/combatdrugabuse.


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