Industry must continue education efforts to change patient behaviors and expand access to at-home disposal methods
SANFORD, NC – Jan. 2, 2020 – Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Dec. 31, 2019 found that while pharmacies are in an ideal position to provide medication disposal information, many did not provide their patients correct information based on the Food and Drug Administration’s primary instructions for medication disposal. DisposeRx, Inc., a company committed to eradicating the misuse of unused medications, concurs that more disposal education is needed for pharmacy staff and patients but notes that much progress has been made with disposal solutions since the audit was conducted.
“In general terms, we agree that the pharmacy counter is the ideal place to communicate medication management information to patients,” said William Simpson, president of DisposeRx. “However, this research was conducted in early 2018 and much has changed in just the past two years as we’ve seen a huge evolution in education and access to disposal efforts not adequately captured in the research.”
In the past 24 months, DisposeRx has rolled out its drug disposal program to more than 50% of the retail pharmacies in the U.S., including tens of thousands of pharmacies and grocery stores, as well as 90% of the pharmacy and medical wholesale distributors. The company is also educating patients and donating packets through 160 Community Outreach Partners in 44 states.
While much of the commitment and progress from retailers, wholesalers and community stakeholders has been driven by the opioid public health crisis, Simpson acknowledges that there is much work to be done to effectively and permanently change the behavior of patients with regards to medication management—from storage to disposal.
“Most people understand the concept of Take-Back Days, which have been well promoted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the past five years. However, there is lack of communication about all effective, innovative disposal methods offered in the marketplace, and we must broaden the message about the risks associated with all leftover medications—not just opioids,” Simpson said.
Ann Hamlin, MS, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, noted that the DisposeRx team has met with key federal agencies to educate them about the growth of DisposeRx in the retail pharmacy and health system space, as well as the evolution of the disposal messaging. They have also shared their concerns about confusion generated by the federal agencies around the topic of disposal.
“I believe the federal agencies are eager to help drive the behavior change needed around medication management,” Hamlin said. “All of us share the same concerns of misuse, addiction, accidental poisonings and antibiotic resistance, and have a role to play in education and communication in the short and long term.”
About DisposeRx Packets
DisposeRx packets are comprised of materials that are FDA-approved for oral medications and provide a simple, convenient and effective solution for the disposal of unused or expired medications. The active ingredient in the medication is chemically and physically isolated in a polymer gel when water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a prescription vial and shaken. Patients can use the product with pills, tablets, capsules, liquids and powders and can then throw away the vial in the household trash.
About DisposeRx, Inc.
DisposeRx, Inc., a North Carolina-based company, is dedicated to decreasing the risks of drug diversion, overdoses, accidental poisonings and antibiotic resistance by facilitating medication management behavior change and eradicating the misuse of leftover medications. DisposeRx drug disposal packets and education programs are currently available at more than 50% of retail pharmacies and through 90% of the wholesale pharmacy and medical distributors across the nation. For more information, visit DisposeRx.com.