Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2011) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President of Communications Matthew Bennett issued the following statement today:
“Now more than ever, it’s important to remind those who have unused and expired medicine in their home of the safe steps for disposal. America’s pharmaceutical companies strongly support various efforts and programs to prevent prescription drug diversion and promote the secure disposal of unused and expired prescription medication.
“PhRMA has taken an active role in efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse and promote safe disposal of unused medicines. These efforts include promoting prescription drug monitoring programs, supporting treatment referral databases, and developing educational materials for health care practitioners and law enforcement to assist in recognizing potential signs of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, PhRMA takes an active role in programs like SMARxT Disposal and Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) National Take Back Day, which provide consumer guidance on voluntary and safe prescription medication disposal.
“Now in its second year, DEA National Take Back Day offers communities a voluntary, anonymous, biannual law-enforcement-supervised take back program that incorporates broad consumer education with strong safety features. The most recent DEA Take Back Day was held nationwide on October 29, 2011 at local law enforcement sites nationwide.
“PhRMA has supported and promoted National Take Back Day since its inception, and considers this program to be an important tool in the fight to keep unused and expired medicine out of the hands of those who might abuse them.
“For those who were unable to reach their closest DEA National Take Back Day for disposal on October 29, other options are available. PhRMA partners with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the American Pharmacists Association on the SMARxT Disposal Program (www.smarxtdisposal.net
). This program informs people how to safely dispose of medicines in the trash, to virtually eliminate any environmental risk posed from flushing medicines down the toilet. PhRMA recommends that all unused medicines, unless specified otherwise by the Food and Drug Administration, should be mixed with water; sealed in an opaque container safely secure from children, pets, and others; and discarded in household trash to be later incinerated or placed in a government approved solid waste landfill.
For more information on PhRMA’s broad range of efforts regarding prevention of prescription drug abuse and diversion, please visit PhRMA’s website at www.phrma.org