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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has applauded a member of its organization for participating in the organization's drug disposal program.
Pharmacy owner and NCPA member John McDonald, who operates Marra's Pharmacy in Cohoes, N.Y., collected $30,000 of mail-order waste as part of NCPA's Dispose My Meds, a program launched in 2010 that includes participation from 1,400 independent community pharmacies nationwide and aims to reduce the improper disposal of unused medications. McDonald's collection, which was highlighted in an Albany CBS 6 affiliate news report, included pills, insulin, insulin strips and more than 50 boxes of nasal spray.
The organization said McDonald's collection reflects an example in the NCPA report “Waste Not, Want Not,” which documented the problem of medication waste associated with mail-order pharmacies.
“The wasteful healthcare spending identified by John McDonald and CBS 6 may be a shocking and extreme case, but is indicative of a problem that is all too common and real,” NCPA president and Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma executive director and CEO Lonny Wilson said. “This case illustrates two important points. First, it is essential that health plan sponsors preserve the patients’ freedom to choose a pharmacy provider. The face-to-face, patient-pharmacist interaction in a community pharmacy improves health outcomes and prevents the waste identified in this news report that is associated with ‘auto-shipping’ mail order programs. Second, community pharmacies can help patients discard their unused or expired medication in an environmentally responsible fashion through programs such as the NCPA Dispose My Meds initiative.”