NCPA urges Congress to examine wasteful spending on unnecessary medication refills

WASHINGTON — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday urged Congress, such as through mail order, as lawmakers held a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Examining Options to Combat Health Care Waste, Fraud and Abuse.”

According to the House committee’s web site, its lawmakers are concerned about Medicare spending in particular and the hearing is intended to “explore potential new approaches to address these substantial and ongoing threats.”

To that end, in a message to Congressional offices NCPA provided pictures and accounts from its member community pharmacists of unused medication brought in by patients (after receiving it through the mail) for proper disposal.

One example comes from Oklahoma pharmacist Todd Pendergraft of Broken Arrow Family Drug who in March posted a video on YouTube presenting the amount of waste of unused medications diabetes testing supplies, including insulin, that was brought in by one customer for disposal. "I thought it would be a good idea for me to use these products to give … a visual of how much medication and how many diabetes testing supplies are being wasted by the use of the mail order pharmacy system," he says in the video. 

About 1,600 independent community pharmacies across the country participate in the Dispose My Meds program through which the cases were documented, NCPA noted. 



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