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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday encouraged community pharmacists to demonstrate their role as a respected and knowledgeable resource on all aspects of medications, from dispensing to disposal, in preparation for Earth Day, which falls on April 22.
“On Earth Day and every day, community pharmacies that voluntarily offer drug disposal services for their patients have an opportunity to build better relationships with patients as they discuss their medication needs,” NCPA president Lonny Wilson said. "The face-to-face, patient-pharmacist interaction in a community pharmacy improves health outcomes and prevents the waste that is associated with ‘auto-shipping’ mail-order programs.”
To assist pharmacists in conveying that message, NCPA is raising awareness around its prescription disposal program — Dispose My Meds — for consumers. As part of the program, NCPA members receive nearly 20% in discounts with shipping included on the products from the Sharps TakeAway Environmental Return System, along with free customizable marketing materials and a listing on our companion consumer website, Disposemymeds.org.
Launched in 2010, the NCPA Dispose My Meds program features more than 1,400 independent community pharmacies nationwide at which consumers may be able to dispose of unused, noncontrolled medications with postage-paid envelopes or participate in onsite programs where pharmaceuticals are collected and disposed of properly. To date, participating pharmacies have collected some 70,000 lbs. of unused or expired noncontrolled medications. Currently, controlled medications are prohibited from being returned through such disposal programs as Dispose My Meds. Participating pharmacies have noted increased foot traffic and conversion of new patients.