Do you have excess prescription or non-prescription medications laying around? Failure to dispose of unused/unwanted medications, particularly controlled substances, presents a significant risk for drug diversion. Get rid of excess medications at the upcoming DEA Drug Take Back Day, scheduled for April 27th, from 10AM-2PM. See the website, www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ for locations near you.
If you can't get there, at least follow these simple directions: 1. Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds; 2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and 3. Throw the container in your household trash
For most medicines, DO NOT FLUSH them down the toilet. There are a few you can flush down the toilet - check with your pharmacist to see if yours is one of them.
Brand name and generic manufacturers are finding a reason to team up...against a local California municipality. Alameda County passed a law requiring drug manufacturers to establish, and fund, a mechanism for consumers to properly dispose of their medications. Proper disposal of medications will help minimize the environmental exposure to potentially harmful chemicals such as hormones, antibiotics and other drugs. Most experts agree that a majority of the medications get into the environment through human and animal urine/feces containing the drugs or their metabolites.
Currently, sewage treatment plants are not designed to remove these substances so another strategy is to limit the exposure by preventing the drugs from getting into the environmnet. Drug take-back programs, such as the one called for by Alameda county, are costly. A similar program in British Columbia costs about 1/2 million dolllars a year to run, for about a population of 4 million people. If this catches on, this would be a costly venture for drug manufacturers, to say the least
PhRMA, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization are jointly filing a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Oakland on Friday. Only time will tell how this shakes out. For more information, see the New York Times article .
Governor Christie recently signed a bill put forth by Somerset County Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset), requiring the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue recommendations for the proper disposal of unused medications. Further, the bill requires health care institutions to submit to the Department of Health and Senior Services and the DEP a plan for proper disposal of unused prescription medications. Failure to implement these rules will result in fines for the health care institution.
Remember the following guidelines when disposing of personal medications:
1. Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds;
2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and
3. Throw the container in your household trash For most medicines, DO NOT FLUSH them down the toilet. There are a few you can flush down the toilet - check with your pharmacist if yours is one of them.
The issue of pharmaceuticals in the environment is multifaceted—ranging from the excretion of animal and human waste, to improper disposal like flushing, to residues transferred from skin (e.g., sunscreens, ointments).
Pharmacists serving in the role of public health advisor are in a unique position to educate patients and providers on strategies to decrease the amount that gets into the environment. This partnership couples Practice Greenhealth’s known expertise in this area with the knowledge and expertise of the nation’s first college of pharmacy to provide outstanding educational opportunities for pharmacists to learn themselves and how to educate others.
The partnership is designed to develop educational modules for pharmacists working in community/retail settings, hospital settings and long term care settings. Further, the intent of the partnership is to develop educational programming for students in colleges of pharmacy and public health programs to learn about this important issue.
-- Andrew Peterson is dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy
From metabolic engineering to computational chemistry and from structural prediction of proteins to rational design of new therapeutics, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia showcased the diversity and growth of research pursuits on campus during its 7th Annual Research Day starting on Thursday, April 2, 2009. Posters representing approximately 120 topics were on display.
Research Day recognizes undergraduate and graduate student research efforts, and highlights aspects of faculty scholarly activity to encourage and promote communication and collaboration among investigators. The University is distinctive in that most undergraduate students conduct research with faculty early in their academic careers.
The diverse research activity on display spans several aspects of the University’s scholarly pursuits, including:
• Biological Sciences: Dr. Jennifer Anthony’s research involving the metabolic engineering of E. coli for the production of vitamin A. • Chemistry: Dr. Randy Zauhar’s use of computer-aided drug design to identify new antimicrobial lead compounds. • Pharmaceutical Sciences: Dr. Bin Chen’s evaluation of the effects of vascular-targeting photodynamic therapy on prostate cancer metastasis. • Physical Therapy: Dr. Therese Johnston’s usage of treadmill training for children with cerebral palsy. • Social Sciences: Psychology major Mark Paullin’s (Philadelphia, Pa.) study of mild cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. • Health Policy: Master in public health major Sekinat Kekere-Ekun’s (Deptford, N.J.) work on the descriptive epidemiology of viral hepatitis in methadone maintenance clients. • Pharmacy Practice: Doctor of pharmacy students Neha Patel (Fairless Hills, Pa.), Puja Patel (Hillsborough, N.J.), and Isha Shah’s (Bensalem, Pa.) analysis of the usage of ondansetron in non-chemotherapy patients at a community teaching hospital.