SANFORD, NC – January 21, 2022 – Patient education, when combined with an at-home opioid disposal product, increases the likelihood that surgical patients will dispose of unused medications, thereby reducing opioids in communities. These are among the findings of an analysis published in the January issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration.
The literature review was conducted by certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) affiliated with Baptist Health Lexington and Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia and a nursing faculty member from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. The research review found that when in-home medication disposal products, such as DisposeRx packets, are provided to patients receiving opioid medications at healthcare facilities, the rate of opioid disposal was as high as 71%.
“The abuse and diversion of leftover opioids following surgeries is a significant contributor to the opioid epidemic and a major concern for healthcare facilities,” said lead study author John M. Edwards, III, DNAP, CRNA, Baptist Health Lexington and Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. “Although patients may need opioids to help manage pain in the early days following a surgical procedure, we know that most prescriptions are not taken in full leaving unused medications that can pose a variety of risks. We believe safe and timely disposal of those medications is key to helping to fight epidemic.”
More than 60% of chain pharmacies and a growing number of hospitals provide—at no cost to the patient—at-home medication disposal products to accompany opioid prescriptions. When patients are provided a disposal product, a high percentage (82%) are likely to use the product when compared to some FDA-approved disposal methods.
“Eradicating the misuse of unused medications is the mission of DisposeRx, and we are pleased to see the growing body of research validating the use of our product and its effects on behavior change,” said William Simpson, DisposeRx president and chief executive officer. “The combination of patient education along with a disposal tool can have a powerful impact on prevention efforts.”
One of the studies in the analysis found a significantly lower rate of filled opioid prescriptions among participants who received an in-home opioid disposal product. The authors suggest that this finding may indicate that providing a drug disposal product to patients emphasizes the danger of opioid use. Further research is needed to understand patients’ plans to keep their opioids to inform the education and interventions that would drive proper disposal and decrease misuse and diversion.
About DisposeRx Packets
DisposeRx at-home medication disposal 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 sequestered in a polymer gel when water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a prescription vial and shaken. Patients can use the patented product with pills, tablets, capsules, liquids and powders and can then throw away the vial in the household trash.
About DisposeRx, Inc.
North Carolina-based DisposeRx, Inc. is dedicated to decreasing the risks of drug diversion, overdoses, suicides, accidental poisonings and antibiotic resistance by facilitating medication safety behavior change and eradicating the misuse of leftover medications. DisposeRx’s market-leading, patented medication disposal packets and education programs are currently available at 60% of retail pharmacies, 90% of wholesale distributors, and through health plans and provider organizations across the U.S. The company has donated more than 750,000 packets to approximately 450 community non-profits since 2018. For more information, visit DisposeRx.com.