Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Improper disposal of prescriptionmedications has becomesuch a problem that it is creatingenvironmental hazards for the nation'swaterways, said officials atthe US Fish and Wildlife Service.

At least part of the problemcan be traced back to bad advicefrom pharmacists and government officials,who for years have urged patients toflush expired or unneeded prescriptiondrugs down the toilet.

In an effort to correct the problem, thefederal agency has joined with theAmerican Pharmacists Association in a newpublic awareness campaign to promoteproper disposal of prescription drugs. Inannouncing the new "SMARxT Disposal"campaign, the 2 groups call onpatients not to flush unused medications(unless instructed to doso on the drug's labeling). Instead,officials are urging patients to"crush solid medications or dissolvethem in water (this appliesto liquid medications as well) andmix [them] with kitty litter or sawdust (orany material that absorbs the dissolvedmedication and makes it less appealing forpets or children to eat), then place in asealed plastic bag before tossing in thetrash."

Visit ePharmacy Times at www.pharmacytimes.com/articleNewsletter.cfm?ID=4506for more information on the proper disposalof medication.