The expansion is part of an effort announced last year by leading health care organizations to combat the national opioid abuse crisis by increasing the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores around the country. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in approximately 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.
In addition, safe medication disposal kiosks located throughout Texas are being co-branded with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Walgreens logos to further illustrate the collaboration among the organizations.
“The opioid crisis is a national epidemic that hasn’t spared Texas,” Esteban López, chief medical officer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas said in a statement. “This crisis requires a whole person approach that brings together various stakeholders to help solve this public health problem. A solution will require education, prevention and immediate action. This collaborative initiative of increasing the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks across the country and in Texas is a first step in the right direction that will help save lives and that’s what we are about at Blue Cross.”
“We are proud to work with organizations from throughout the health care community to make it even easier for people to dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy operations, Walgreens. “The expansion of the program throughout Texas is a great example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”
Safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. The 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.
Safe medication disposal kiosks have collected more than 270 tons of unwanted medications since the program began in 2016. This an additional 115 tons since the company announced its partnership last fall with leading health care organizations to expand the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks, collections have reached nearly 40 percent of the organizations’ goal to collect an additional 300 tons of unwanted medication in two years.