Media Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
Jan. 18, 2008
Schnucks Pharmacies To "Take Back" Expired and Unwanted Medications
On the second and fourth Thursday of each
month, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pharmacists in 20 metro area Schnucks stores (see
schedule below) will accept and dispose of medications that would otherwise
have been trashed or flushed. The
program includes all forms (liquid, capsules or powder), but by law excludes narcotics and other controlled
substances. Cintas, a waste disposal company based in
According to Schnucks Director of Pharmacy Bob Mueller, R. Ph., RxMeds, is a pilot and one of the first of its kind in the nation. It is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is the result of a partnership between Schnucks Pharmacies, Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS) and St. Louis College of Pharmacy - as well as several others.
"Literally tons of unwanted pharmaceuticals and personal care products enter the environment through sewage each year," said Mueller. "RxMeds gives our communities the opportunity to take corrective action and help reverse some of the ill effects unwanted medications are having on our water supply and on our environment."
Schnucks will track the product which will enable the EPA to more closely study the amount of medication our community disposes of on a regular basis. "Schnucks has always been an environmentally responsible retailer and we are excited to be able to offer a service that will help protect the environment and, at the same time, avoid misuse, theft, accidental poisonings and diversion of products," said Mueller.
Program coordinators hope that by launching the program in the middle of cold and flu season when unwanted medication tends to clutter home medicine cabinets, the program will be able to build acceptance in the community. Customers should bring back the medications in their original container, and for security purposes, customers will be asked to wait as the medication is identified.
"This is not only a service to our customers, but also a service to the community," said Mueller. "Over time, we hope to raise awareness among families in our community, particularly those with young children, understand the need to engage in safe disposal of out-dated or unwanted medications and on a regular basis."
At the outset, The RxMeds program is being offered at limited times and always under strict security. No controlled substances, medical equipment or household hazardous waste will be accepted. By law, no healthcare professional, may take back controlled substances (narcotics, depressants, stimulants or anabolic steroids that are regulated by the government).
You can protect your family and pets by disposing of controlled substances safely at home. Add water to dissolve tablets or dilute fluids, empty contents into a disposable and sealable bag and mix in a solid substance such as kitty litter or coffee grounds. Put it in the trash receptacle on pick-up day. This process helps keep these medicines away from pets and other people. Remove all identification from all prescription bottles before recycling them.
To find additional program and scheduling information ask your Schnucks pharmacist for details or visit http://www.schnucks.com/pharmacy/rxreturns.asp.
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Schnucks Pharmacy Collection Sites (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
2nd Thursday of the month
Hampton and Gravois
4th Thursday of the month