DEERFIELD, IL —Walgreens is expanding its effort to combat the opioid epidemic and encouraging individuals to clean out their medicine cabinets in advance of the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday, October 27.

Complementing its existing safe medication disposal kiosk program, Walgreens has committed to providing a year-round safe drug disposal option in all its pharmacies at no cost to individuals. Beginning in spring 2019, all Walgreens pharmacies that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk will stock a take home safe medication disposal kit in the pharmacy that will be available at no cost upon patient request.

“We are excited to build upon our efforts to make safe medication disposal easier and more accessible to more Americans,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, in a prepared statement. “Both of these programs offer the best way to ensure medications are not accidentally or intentionally misused as we continue our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”

Walgreens continues to work with AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to expand its safe medication disposal kiosk program to 1,500 drugstores across the country. Since the program began, more than 400 tons of medications, has been collected and safely disposed.

Both programs make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.

Beginning next month, Walgreens will install 14 safe medication disposal kiosks throughout Missouri, following an update in rules that will allow for the program’s implementation in the state. When installation is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in select Walgreens across 46 states and in Washington D.C.

In addition, Walgreens continues to increase access to naloxone, a lifesaving medication that if administered in time can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The medication is now available without a physician’s prescription in 48 states, including the recent addition of all Walgreens pharmacies in Delaware.


Walgreens to Provide Free Safe Medication Disposal Option in All Drugstores in 2019 [news release]. Deerfield, IL; October 24, 2018: Walgreens News. Accessed October 24, 2018.