BOSTON, MA – February 24, 2016 - Earlier today, representatives of local law enforcement and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) were joined by Governor Charlie Baker at the Massachusetts State House to formally launch "MyOldMeds Massachusetts,” a public information campaign to drive awareness around safe prescription drug use, storage and disposal. The campaign also highlights existing resources for returning unused medicines to certain locations and provides information on substance abuse treatment options in the Commonwealth.
“Too many lives are being lost in the Commonwealth as a result of the opioid epidemic and opportunities to bring stakeholders together to build public awareness and encourage action are just one step we can take to curb this tragedy,” said Governor Baker. “As we continue our work with the legislature, this new resource provides one more tool we can use to begin solving this crisis here in Massachusetts.”
MyOldMeds is a multi-channel education campaign developed by PhRMA to educate Massachusetts’ residents on safe medicine use and disposal. In addition to social and digital marketing, the campaign includes a MA-specific website, which will serve as a state resource to help residents understand how to safely use, store and dispose of their medicines. The website also includes links to additional resources, such as safe drug disposal locations, information about drug-abuse prevention, and addiction- and disposal-related concerns.
“Prescription drug abuse is a critical public health issue that cannot be solved by any one entity, and the nation’s biopharmaceutical industry recognizes its role in this fight,” said Steve Ubl, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “What we are launching today is not just a website – it is a campaign that aims to empower families and friends to help combat prescription drug abuse, and keep our homes and communities safe.”
“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription opioids before turning to heroin. And one of the main sources for those opioids was unused medications in the home,” said Chief William Brooks, President of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association. “The police of Massachusetts are here to help residents dispose of unwanted or unused medication through participation in take-back programs and the use of kiosks at many police stations, along with helping to promote MyOldMeds as an additional resource in our communities.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.2 billion in 2014 alone.