Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2008 - (Page 36)

Medicine: Flush Less, Crush More to Protect Nation’s Waterways THE PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) recently signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to help protect the nation’s fish and aquatic resources from the improper disposal of medication. The campaign, dubbed “SMARxT Disposal,” will inform people about how to safely dispose of medicines in the trash and highlight the environmental threat posed by flushing medicines down the toilet. “Trace amounts of chemical compounds often associated with medications have been increasingly detected in our waters, the very waters that support our nation’s fish and other wildlife,” said Gary Frazer, assistant director of fisheries and habitat conservation for the USFWS. “While uncertainty still exists about the impact of these chemicals, USFWS, PhRMA and the APhA recognize the value of getting in front of the issue by passing along a few easy pointers: Don’t flush those medicines; crush the medicines in a plastic bag, add coffee grounds, sawdust or kitty litter, seal the bag and put it in the trash. In other words, crush, don’t flush.” The partnership was announced during APhA’s annual meeting in San Diego, one of the largest gatherings of pharmacy professionals and health service providers in the country. “Medications play a vital role in our society,” added Dr. John A. Gans, executive vice president and CEO of APhA. “Consumers – and pharmacists – should be aware that it is important to take that extra step to protect our families and our natural resources.” “The proper disposal of medicines is important to America’s families. PhRMA is very excited to be working on this initiative with the Fish and Wildlife Service and American Pharmacist A ssociation that will educate all Americans on the safest way to dispose of unused medicines,” said Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of PhRMA. APhA, PhRMA and the USFWS say just three small steps can make a huge difference. 1. Do not flush unused medications or pour them down a sink or drain. Consumers were once advised to flush their expired or unused medications; however, recent environmental impact studies report that this could be having an adverse impact on the environment. While the rule of thumb is not to flush, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that certain medications should be flushed due to their abuse potential. Read the instructions on your medication and talk with your pharmacist. 2. Dispose of unused medication in household trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects. • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), crush it or add water to dissolve it. • Add to the plastic bag kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets or children to eat. • Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash. • Remove and destroy all identifying personal information (prescription label) from the medication container. 3. Check for approved state and local collection programs. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy. • Consult your pharmacist with any questions. Visit the SMARxT Disposal Web site at for more information. 36 • Second Quarter 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2008

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2008
From The President
Western Water Wars
Are You in a Drought, and what can You do about it?
High Costs On The Horizon?
Water Reuse - Florida's Future
Funding Rural America's Water And Wastewater Needs
Relations and Technical Issues Top EPA Summit Agenda
New Medicine Disposal Partnership
Regulatory Update
2008 Rural Water Rally Coverage
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From The CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2008