SOURCE: American Pharmacists Association

American Pharmacists Association

April 26, 2016 16:26 ET

APhA Supports National Prescription Drug Take Back Efforts

APhA Suggests Increasing Public Awareness of Drug Disposal Opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) - This Saturday, citizens are being asked to clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in unused prescription drugs at designated disposal locations as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) supports those efforts, and suggests increasing the public's awareness of prescription drug disposal opportunities, including at-home disposal and take back events, to decrease the likelihood that controlled substances will be used by persons other than whom they were prescribed for.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) started the initiative as a temporary measure to address a crucial public safety and public health issue. To date, DEA has held 10 drug take back events since September 2010 and has collected over 5.5 million pounds of drugs.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, using methods that include pilfering from the home medicine cabinet.

"If the public were more aware of disposal options and the risks associated with storing medicine, individuals would be more likely to dispose of their drugs," according to Jenna Ventresca, JD, APhA Associate Director of Health Policy.

Currently, DEA requirements may act as a barrier to community pharmacy participation in prescription drug disposal as installation and maintenance of disposal bins can be costly, and ambiguity in DEA regulations make compliance difficult.

Despite these barriers, many pharmacists are actively involved in programs, provide mail-back mechanisms and provide education to patients regarding disposal. "Combating prescription drug abuse is proving to be an ongoing effort that demands broad stakeholder participation and multifaceted approaches," Ventresca added.

For more information and details on the upcoming National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative visit the DEA website.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 63,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.

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