The first 6 months of theSan Francisco?based GreenPharmacy Program has prevented700 lb of unused andexpired medicines from gettinginto Bay Area waters.
The Teleosis Institute, anonprofit organization dedicated to sustainablemedicine and a healthy environment, launchedthe program in an effort to reduce pharmaceuticalpollution of the San Francisco waterwaysand increase public awareness about the environmentalimpact of discarded medications.The Green Pharmacy Program sponsors eventspromoting environmentally safe disposal ofunwanted medications and has establishedcommunity-based take-back sites where individualscan return unused medications.
The program is unique in that the site managerdocuments all returned medicines throughthe Unused & Expired Medicine Registry, whichcompiles national statistics on medicinesreturned and the reasons for disposal. After astatistically significant sample is documented,the data will be presented to pharmaceuticalresearchers, manufacturers, and governmentalorganizations to build take-back programsnationwide. Currently 12 pilot take-back sitesare operating at Bay Area pharmacies, physicianand dental offices, veterinary hospitals, healthcare facilities, and recycling events.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District, SaveThe Bay, Kaiser Permanente, Elephant Pharmacy,Pharmaca, Whole Foods, and the City ofBerkeley have partnered with the TeleosisInstitute for this program.