PMH HealthBeat

The Lobby at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is now home to a new MedSafe drug collection and disposal receptacle, making it easier for members of the community to safely dispose of old or unused medications. PMH photo

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is partnering with Sharps Compliance, Inc. to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse by providing solutions for safely disposing of opioid pain-killers and other unused medications.

A blue MedSafe® drug collection and disposal receptacle is now located in the front lobby of PMH for the safe and anonymous disposal of unused or expired medicines and controlled substances. This receptacle is for community use. Anyone with unwanted medications may safely dispose of the medications in this box during normal business hours when the front door is open, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The box is clearly labeled with what is accepted and what should not be disposed of in this receptacle. Liquid bottles should be put in a plastic Ziplock bag before disposal.

Items not acceptable are: illegal (Schedule I) drugs, needles/syringes or sharps containers, medical devices and batteries, aerosol cans including inhalers, chemicals, mercury-containing devices, radiopharmaceuticals, liquid antineoplastic agents (such as chemotherapy drugs and cytotoxic drugs).

Most Americans recognize that prescription drug abuse is a growing problem and one that flourishes in all communities.

“We often receive questions from our patients asking how they can safely get rid of their unused medications,” said Kari Cooper, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at PMH. “We’re happy to be able to give back to our community and customers by providing a safe solution to getting unused medications out of their homes and harm’s way.”

Since 2009, Sharps Compliance – a nationwide provider of management services for medical waste and unused medication, including controlled substances – has sold or leased more than 2,400 MedSafe receptacles and collected more than two million pounds of unused medications.

The MedSafe receptacles are securely installed and can only be accessed and emptied by two pharmacy employees as required by the DEA guidelines.

MedSafe receptacles are located in retail pharmacies, long-term care facilities, hospitals and clinics with onsite pharmacies, law enforcement and government agencies and narcotic treatment facilities.

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