St. Louis College of Pharmacy
4588 Parkview Place * St. Louis, MO 63110 * www.stlcop.edu
Safely Dispose Unwanted Medication This Weekend
Published on 01 June 2015
Americans spend nearly $1,100 per person on prescription and over-the-counter medications every year[i], and much of it is left in cabinets, drawers, or forgotten.
“Unused medication should not be left sitting around the house for several reasons,” says Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, associate professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “It could be the target for thieves. Medication can also weaken over time, lose effectiveness, and prevent you from reaching your health goals.”
This is the fourth year of an innovative partnership to ensure prescription and over-the-counter medications are properly destroyed. St. Louis College of Pharmacy College partners with the city of St. Louis and United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to organize additional disposal opportunities during the month of April.
“The St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative draws on all of our insights and experiences to responsibly dispose of unwanted medicine,” Tiemeier says.
In the last four years, the DEA has disposed of more than 6,000 pounds of medication from St. Louis area homes and collected more than three million pounds across the country. In addition to the public take back day on April 26, the group will target senior living facilities.
“For the first time this year, we collected medications at the Go! St. Louis Mature Mile,” Tiemeier says. “Seniors, on average, fill 14 prescriptions a year. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, the number of prescriptions around the home will likely increase as well.”
Tiemeier says the best way to safely destroy medication is with through a program that incinerates the medications. Water treatment plants were not designed to filter out the active ingredients in medications.
The next nationwide medication disposal day is Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
To support year-round medication disposal efforts, the College launched MedDisposal.org, a website devoted to proper medication disposal. Among the features of the site is an interactive map showing all of the permanent medication disposal locations in the St. Louis region.
“The number of disposal sites has increased rapidly in the last few years,” Tiemeier says. “Options are available in more than three dozen communities across St. Louis and are often as close as the nearest police station.”
Tiemeier is also vice president of Missouri P2D2, a non-profit organization which, in less than two years, has established nine disposal boxes in St. Louis County.
“All of us should look at our medications,” Tiemeier says. “If they’re no longer needed, expired, or could be stolen, take them to drop off sites.”
The St. Louis Medication Disposal Initiative will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 26, 2014.
As part of the unique partnership, four Walgreens disposal sites are available in the city of St. Louis. They are located at:
4218 Lindell, St. Louis, MO 63108
3822 S. Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63109
1530 Lafayette, St. Louis, MO 63104
3720 N. Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63115
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: For more than 150 years, St. Louis College of Pharmacy has been committed to educating the best pharmacists in the United States. The region’s only independent college of pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is the third oldest continuously operating and 10th largest college of pharmacy in America. The student body is comprised of 1,400 students, 40 percent of which are minority or multicultural. The students come to the College from 31 states and 10 countries. The College admits students directly from high school and accepts transfer students and graduates from other colleges and universities in the sophomore and junior years of the undergraduate program and the first year of the professional program. Students earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) with an integrated Bachelor of Science degree in a seven-year curriculum. An education at the College opens up the world to graduates for a career in a wide range of practice settings. Graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate. The campus is transforming to better fit the needs of students, faculty, and staff. This summer, a new six-story, 213,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art academic and research building opened. Construction is underway for a seven-story student center, residence hall, and recreation facility scheduled for completion in December 2016. When not in class, students can participate in more than 60 organizations, fraternities, intramurals, and sports. The College competes in 12 NAIA Division I sports. College alumni practice throughout the nation and in 13 different countries, providing a strong network to assist students with their goals. Additional information is available at stlcop.edu.