In an effort to combat the opioid epidemic, the United States bases Walgreens announced in late 2018 that it was working toward ensuring year-round drug disposal options in all of its US pharmacies at no cost to customers, the company said in a press release.
The company announced recently that all Walgreen pharmacies that do not already have a safe medication disposal kiosk will now offer DisposeRx packets or other drug disposal options for customers to bring home.
“We recognise the need to provide solutions to dispose of unwanted medications that meet the preferences of all our customers. By combining the availability of a take home drug disposal option with our existing safe medication disposal kiosks, 78% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a drug disposal option conveniently available in every Walgreens pharmacy,” said Lisa Badgley, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and retail operations, in the press release. “We are proud to be the first retail pharmacy to make Drug Take Back Day available every day in our stores.”
The DisposeRx packets contain a blend of proprietary solidifying materials that provide a site-of-use solution for the disposal of medication. When water and the DisposeRx powder are added to unwanted medications in the prescription vial and shaken, the drugs are rendered unavailable and unusable, allowing for the safe disposal at home.
These DiposeRx packets are only the company’s newest method of safe drug disposal. Walgreens currently offers safe medication disposal kiosks in 1400 of its pharmacies across 46 states and Washington, DC. According to the press release, these kiosks have collected and led to the safe disposal of more than 1.2 million pounds of unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances and other medications.
In addition to safe disposal methods, Walgreens has also expanded the use of secure time delay safes in more than 6500 of its pharmacies across 42 states and Washington, D.C. These safes are designed to prevent diversion of controlled substances by making narcotic medications inaccessible for unauthorised individuals.
Walgreens also stocks naloxone in all of its pharmacies and is able to dispense the medication without requiring a prescription in 48 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.