SANFORD, N.C. — The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has cancelled its spring National Drug Takeback Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day will go on as scheduled on Friday, April 17, 2020.
DisposeRx established National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day in 2019 to educate patients and caregivers about the risks of keeping unused or expired prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter medications. Some of the unintended consequences of keeping unused medications in the home are: accidental ingestions/poisonings, drug diversion, misuse/abuse, medication confusion – which especially effects our senior population, overdoses, suicides and antibiotic resistance.
“Patient safety has always been paramount to us and is indeed the foundation of our company,” said William Simpson, DisposeRx president. “Through our pharmacy, health plan and healthcare partners, we educate patients every day about the importance of safe medication management. By designating a day, we hope to provide an important reminder and draw more attention to the potential dangers of opioids and other medications.”
Prescription opioid misuse is an ongoing public health crisis, and 70% of opioid diversion, dependence, overdoses and deaths begin with leftover drugs in the medicine cabinet. However, opioids are just one of the medications that can cause harm when in the wrong hands or taken inappropriately. Antidepressants, muscle-relaxers, ADHD medications, sleep aids, blood pressure and heart medications can also be dangerous and even deadly. DisposeRx—the at-home drug disposal solution—offers a simple, convenient, effective and eco-friendly way of ridding your home of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
DisposeRx created a resource page/toolkit for consumers which includes graphics that can be downloaded to share: https://disposerx.com/page/47/page/47/clean-out-meds-day. The company encourages participants to spread the word about how they are cleaning out and ridding their homes of unused medications, and use the hashtag #CleanOutMedsDay.
“We are more concerned than ever about the safety of patients and their families given that the precautions for COVID-19 include quarantining and spending more time closed up in our homes. It is important that everyone is judicious and disposes of leftover and unused medications in a prompt and proper manner and then consistently maintains their medicine cabinet,” Simpson said.
If patients or caregivers have large quantities of leftover medications, they can find a takeback kiosk on the Food and Drug Administration’s website or participate in the DEA’s next National Drug Takeback Day in October.