NACDS suggests ways to reduce pharmaceutical waste

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The chain retail pharmacy industry’s main lobby expressed support Thursday for sustainable and safe disposal of unused medications following a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores complimented the hearing, which took place Wednesday and focused on ways to reduce pharmaceutical waste.

“The chain pharmacy industry supports the goal of finding a safe and effective means for disposal of consumers’ unused pharmaceuticals,” NACDS’ statement read. “We appreciate that there is increased attention to addressing this issue and that varying options have been proposed, including recommendations for consumers to mix their unused drugs with undesirable substances such as coffee grounds in containers for disposal into household trash, prepaid mail-back envelopes for consumers to use and other programs for collection and disposal through hazardous waste management programs.”

One method the NACDS recommended was medication therapy management, also endorsed by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. “One of the best strategies to tackle the problem of drug disposal is to make sure drugs aren’t wasted in the first place,” Kohl said. “We need to explore innovative ways to improve patient care and reduce waste through programs like medication therapy management, improved compliance and patient education.”

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