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WesternU Pharmacy to hold medication disposal event on Halloween

by Rodney Tanaka

October 25, 2012

Read 2 mins

With Halloween fast approaching and children’s attention turning to candy, the Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences wants to help you remove unused or outdated medications from your home.

“A lot of medications look like candy,” said Pharmacy Director Rudolf Mireles, PharmD. “We would like to get those medications out of environments where they can be accidentally ingested by children.”

The Pharmacy will hold a free medication disposal event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The Pharmacy is on the first floor of WesternU’s Patient Care Center, 795 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif.

An estimated 250 million pounds of unused medications are improperly disposed of each year. The WesternU Pharmacy is participating in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s TakeAway Environmental Return System, which ensures unused medications are discarded in an environmentally friendly manner, prevents abuse or accidental misuse, and offers additional business opportunities for community pharmacies.

Medications should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.

“Unfortunately in this society, a lot of people go through others’ trash and ingest items they’re not supposed to be ingesting,” Mireles said. “It’s also not good for the environment. You’re putting medications in the environment that could be carried through the food chain and eventually affect us in a negative way.”

The WesternU Pharmacy will accept non-controlled medications. No illegal drugs will be accepted.

The University is studying how much medicine is being wasted and how much medication is not properly taken, Mireles said. A pharmacist will document the medication brought in.

“We don’t want anybody ingesting medications by accident, especially this time of year,” Mireles said. “A lot of people understand how important it is to get them out of their household. They do not want to send them to the landfill because they know it pollutes the environment, but they have a hard time finding places that will take back this product.”

Holding this event is a community service that the WesternU Pharmacy is willing to provide.

“If we are dispensing medication, we should also be taking it back and destroying it,” Mireles said.

For more information about the medication disposal event, call the WesternU Pharmacy at 909-706-3730.

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