[Pharmwaste] DEA results and future plans

Ed Gottlieb egottlieb at cityofithaca.org
Fri May 4 13:42:28 EDT 2012

I called the DEA Public Affairs phone number, listed on the press
release Stevan sent us (below), to see if I could get more data.  They
only have total weights for States and DEA Regions.  They can't get and
didn't seem interested in any information other than this...old news, I
know.  The women I spoke with actually was under the impression that
privacy rules would not allow them to get participation numbers.  I
pointed out that was not an issue since no names were being collected
(let alone names linked with medications.)  She provided contact
information for the NY DEA Public Affairs office.
The NY office called me back since the data was just coming in.  NYS
had more than 300 sites and collected 37,000 pounds of medications.
When I asked for a more accurate site count she referred me to the DEA
site locator.  That was already taken down I told her.  The NY office
probably had just gotten more detail than this (maybe the totals were
not done?) since she was able to tell me that the Syracuse regional
office collected 5285 pounds.  Not having an exact number of sites or
weight count only allows a rough state average to be
calculated…123#/site.  I called the Syracuse office to learn that
they had 34 sites (yielding a more accurate local average of 155#/site.)
 I presume that all sorts of data were collected at a minority of sites
nationwide, especially the number of participants.  Since the DEA
doesn't ask for any information other than weight, they aren't given it.
 At this point, it would be very difficult to find the data that was
Do you think that if some of us asked the DEA to offer to accept any
data a site wishes to provide at the fall collection, they would do so?

We could suggest that their offer could be structured in a way that
would generate comparable results.  Am I wasting my time?
I think the following information was already posted on the Listserv.
For my own clarity, I asked the main DEA office what their plans were
for future collection events.  She confirmed that they are planning a
fall collection since the rules for the Safe Drug Disposal Act will not
be in place before then.  They have no intent to hold any collections
after that.  Once the new rules are published in the Federal Register
there will be a final comment period.  The DEA may choose to make
changes, based on the comments received, before they publish the final
Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433

>>> Stevan Gressitt <gressitt at gmail.com> 5/3/2012 6:28 PM >>>

Stevan Gressitt, M.D., D.F.A.P.A.
Faculty Associate, University of Maine Center on Aging
Academic Member, Athens Institute for Education and Research
Athens, Greece
Founding Director, International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety
University of New England, College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine
314 Clark Road
Unity, Maine, 04988
gressitt at gmail.com
Cell: 207-441-0291
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