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To describe the process used by a pharmacy in Minnesota to develop a drug disposal option for its patients and the surrounding community to safely dispose of unwanted medications and to describe the current barriers to continuing activities. Information on rules and regulations regarding hazardous waste management was gathered from pertinent state agencies. Resources used included online access to the statutes and information posted on Minnesota and federal agencies websites. Further information was gathered during personal communications with key employees within agencies. Not applicable. By the author. Although the information provided in the current work pertains to Minnesota, modeling collection activities to meet the strict Minnesota hazardous waste regulations would likely ensure collection events that meet both federal and state regulations in states with less stringent regulations. The current limiting factor to further collection events within a pharmacy setting consists of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) interpretation and enforcement of the law. A solution is discussed for pharmacy collaboration within communities that would meet DEA rules until federal regulations are clarified or altered. Educating and offering patients easy, immediate alternatives is necessary before patients will choose proper disposal methods instead of sewering unwanted or expired medications. Pharmacists are well positioned to educate patients about protecting their families and the water supply.


Michelle Grossman Johnson. Tools based on experiences of a community pharmacy providing destruction services for unwanted medications. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association : JAPhA. 2010 May-Jun;50(3):388-93

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PMID: 20452914

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