United Water, NCPA encourage proper disposal of medications

Campaign centers around Dispose My Meds

HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — United Water and the National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday announced a partnership to encourage people throughout the United States to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications in an environmentally friendly manner.

A major part of the campaign will center around the NCPA's website dedicated to the program — DisposeMyMeds.org — that directs people to their local independent pharmacy where they can drop off their unused medications.

"Some trace levels of pharmaceutical compounds have been detected in waterways throughout the world," stated Brent Fewell, VP environmental compliance at United Water. "With no technology available today to effectively remove prescription drugs from water, proper disposal is currently our only remedy." In addition to the DisposeMyMeds.org program, Fewell noted that United Water also is spearheading leading-edge research initiatives aimed at removing compounds from the water.

"The presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation's water should come as no surprise," NCPA president Robert Greenwood said. "The old recommended method of getting rid of many medications had been to flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain."

Greenwood explained that the conventional wisdom was to dispose of medicines by flushing them down toilets, rather than disposing of them in trash, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. "Now we realize the potential impact of some pharmaceutical compounds in our waterways and the new emphasis on an environmentally safer means of disposal," he said.

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