Your independent community pharmacist has knowledge to ensure the safe and proper handling of your medications from dispensing to disposal. Pharmacists do more than just count out your prescriptions and mix cough syrup, they also ensure that everything behind the counter is properly categorized and treated according to regulation. The National Community Pharmacists Association launched the “Prescription Disposal Program” to provide America’s community pharmacists with information and resources to help patients safely dispose of unused and expired medicines that may be dangerous to others and to the environment. It is estimated that three in four adults do not take their medications as directed by their prescriber and moreover just as many do not know how to dispose of them properly.
Pharmacists are trained to ensure that patients are not only taking their medications correctly, but also recycling the containers as well as drugs that are expired. A small number of medications may be harmful, especially if they are taken by someone other than whom they were prescribed to. Many medications have specific disposal instructions that the average consumer may not know, but rest assured that your local pharmacist is ready to assist you in the proper disposal of your prescriptions as well as the containers and contents. From inhalers to epinephrine pens, certain products are properly handled and safely disposed of in compliance with the local regulations and laws. Pharmacists recycle the containers and lids of bottles, dispose of expired prescriptions, and help ensure the environment is free of potentially harmful chemicals. These masters of the medicine cabinet are behind the counter heroes who recycle what can be recycled, trash what needs to be trashed, and prevent misuse of drugs through proper disposal and handling. If you have any questions when cleaning out the medicine cabinet just ask your local pharmacist, they’re recycle experts and garbage collectors.