NCPA, Sharps Compliance announce partnership

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is teaming up with Sharps Compliance to emphasize the proper disposal of unused medications.

The partnership agreement offers NCPA’s member pharmacies discounted services for the Sharps Takeaway Environmental Return System, which includes a nearly 20% discount plus free shipping. Participating pharmacies can either offer their patients postage pre-paid envelopes or collect unused medicines in 10 or 20 gallon collection boxes in a secure location within the pharmacy. Once the envelope is used or the box is full, it should be returned immediately -- via the U.S. Postal Service or UPS -- for disposal. In addition to the discount, participating pharmacies get free access to customizable flyers, counter cards, bag stuffers and posters to promote their take back programs.

The NCPA-Sharps partnership arises out of NCPA’s Prescription Disposal Program that was launched last year. The initial version provided members with the tools to successfully design and market medication return programs, provided information about Board of Pharmacy regulations, and reinforced the Drug Enforcement Administration and other’s guidelines restrictions on the return and transport of controlled substances without the direct involvement of law enforcement, NCPA said.

The event is in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Earth Week (April 17-24).

“This exciting partnership gives many community pharmacies an easier way to meet a growing patient demand for a safe and environmentally friendly way to safely discard unused medications,” said Joseph H. Harmison, NCPA president and pharmacy owner. “By using the Sharps Takeaway Environmental Return System pharmacies can do well by doing good. It’s not every day that pharmacists can help achieve a cleaner environment and less prescription drug abuse among our youth while introducing new customers to their local community pharmacy. Programs like this should be voluntary but I hope many pharmacies seize the opportunity to make the 40th Earth Day one that their communities will remember.”

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