Henderson County Campus 270-827-7700 Union County Campus: 270-389-5000

MedSafe® Medication Collection Stations installed at Methodist Health and Methodist Health Union County

blog imageMedSafe® Medication Collection Stations have been installed in the lobbies of Methodist Health and Methodist Health Union County as a community service. The stations provide a safe and secure way for individuals to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medications.

The blue stainless steel collection receptacles have an inner liner that can be removed by a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approved collector when it is filled and returned for proper disposal via incineration, rendering the pharmaceuticals non-retrievable. The Henderson Regional Hospital Foundation (HRHF) is underwriting the MedSafe® project.

“Until recently, there has not been a good way to dispose of prescription medications,” said Brent Bridges, Pharm D, MHA, Director of Pharmacy at Methodist Health. “The DEA’s guidance recommended mixing left over medications with coffee grounds or kitty litter and placing the mixture in a coffee can, taping up the lid and disposing in the garbage. This was impractical at best and the EPA has long banned flushing medications via sewer systems.”

With limited options, individuals have been keeping old, expired or otherwise dangerous medications inside their homes. These medications often become the target of illicit use by family or friends leading to harm and, in some cases, death.

“This issue became such a problem that local law enforcement began holding ‘take back’ events and eventually serving as community take back centers to decrease the incidence of prescription related diversion,” said Bridges. “Pharmacies were, until recently, prohibited from receiving medications from the public. This changed last year when the DEA allowed pharmacies such as Methodist Health Rx Services to register as a medication take back facility. We now have procedures in place to safely and securely receive medications that the public drops off in a MedSafe® Medication Collection Station. The organization facilitates the delivery of these items to a destruction vendor.”

Methodist Health and the HRHF believe that participating in this community service is a worthy effort and are confident that this process will help ensure a safe, legal and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unused medications.

Using the collection station is as easy as using a mailbox. Instructions are posted on the receptacle at each collection station.

For questions regarding this press release, please contact Brandi L. Schwartz at 270-831-7836 or bschwartz@methodisthospital.net.