Nationwide Pharmacy to Launch Its Own Prescription Take-Back Program

DENVER, July 19, 2016 — The statistics are staggering. A study by the National Safety Council found that 52 people die from opioid pain medications every day. Approximately 77 percent of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are either bought from or given by a friend or relative, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). And the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 62 percent of teens who have taken medications for a nonmedical reason said they got them from their parents’ medicine cabinets. To help decrease the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers, Cordant Health Solutions™, a Denver-based company specializing in drug testing and controlled substance pharmacies, is launching a new prescription take-back program to begin this month. Consumers who use Cordant’s specialized pharmacies will be provided mail-back envelopes to safely dispose of their unused or expired medications, including controlled substances II–V, through the United States Postal Service. “The ONDCP’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan states that proper medication disposal is key to drug abuse prevention,” said Sue Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. “Studies have shown that medication take-back programs can help to reduce accidental overdosing and reduce the amount of medication in the environment.” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds its own Prescription Take-Back Day twice each year. Thus far the DEA has collected and destroyed 5.5 million pounds, or 2,762 tons, of unused prescription drugs in the past five years. The success of this program has inspired Cordant to continue the effort to remove unused prescriptions from the community. Cordant’s Prescription Take-Back program is simple and straightforward. Mail-back envelopes will be placed at select physician offices. Patients simply take an envelope home, fill it with unused/expired medications in their original containers, seal the prepaid mailing label on the nondescript envelope and ship it via USPS directly to be safely disposed. Cordant will track metrics on this program to determine its effectiveness. This take-back program meets the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act requirements for the compliant disposal of controlled substances via mail-back. “Responsibility to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medications starts with all of us,” said Sommer. “Disposing of expired and old medications is a significant step to ending our country’s opioid epidemic.”   For more information on Cordant’s Take-Back Program visit TakeBackProgram.org.