[Pharmwaste] FW: Teleosis Institute Reducing Pharmaceuticals In San Francisco Water Supply

matthew mireles mirelesmc at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 11 22:46:31 EDT 2008

FYI. Groups are now distributing their press releases.  This one comes from
Teleosis in Berkeley CA.  From a pilot study last year, the group is
planning to create a sustainable program that will be expanded in this area.
We provide research support for data collection and analysis.  


Matthew C. Mireles, PhD, MPH

President and CEO

Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety




From: Evin Guy [mailto:evin at teleosis.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:16 PM
To: 'Evin Guy'
Subject: Teleosis Institute Reducing Pharmaceuticals In San Francisco Water






Evin Guy 
Green Pharmacy Program Manager 
Teleosis Institute
1521B 5th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
510.558.7285 ext. 104
evin at teleosis.org


Teleosis Institute Reducing Pharmaceuticals 
in San Francisco Water Supply 

Drug "Take-Back" Program Nets 900 Pounds of Unused Medication in 8 Months

Berkeley, CA,  March 10, 2008 -- Over 900 pounds of unused and expired
medicines have been diverted from San Francisco waterways between June 1,
2007 and March 1, 2008 thanks to the Green Pharmacy Program initiated by the
Teleosis <http://www.teleosis.org/>  Institute, Berkley, CA, a non-profit
educational organization devoted to reducing the environmental impact of
health care.

Teleosis initiated the Green Pharmacy
<http://www.teleosis.org/greenpharmacy>  Program in response to scientific
studies published between 2002 and 2006 revealing that pharmaceuticals were
being found in measurable quantities.  The Associated Press reported today
that the presence of prescription drugs in so much of our drinking water is
heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human

The Green Pharmacy Program establishes community-based take-back sites where
consumers can return unused medications and sponsors events
<http://www.teleosis.org/gpp-locations.php#locations>  advocating
environmentally safe disposal of unwanted medications.  Currently 14 pilot
take-back sites are operating in Bay Area pharmacies, doctor and dental
offices, veterinarian hospitals, health care facilities and local recycling
events. To learn about upcoming drug recycling events visit,

Staff at take-back sites document all returned medicines and screen for
controlled substances, which are turned away because of current DEA
restrictions.   Medications are collected from take-back bins for
incineration (the most environmentally safe disposal method) by Integrated
Waste Control, Inc., a Hayward, CA-based waste hauler.

Green Pharmacy Program is unique in that it requires that customers to
document important information about their returned medications, including
reason for return, place of purchase, and percentage of prescription unused.
Data about the medications is sent to the Unused & Expired Medicine
Registry, a program developed by the Community Medical Foundation for
Patient Safety in Texas, which compiles national statistics on medicines
returned and reasons for disposal.  

According to Dr. Joel Kreisberg, executive director of Teleosis, the purpose
of collecting data on unused medicine is to identify which pharmaceuticals
are most often unused or over-prescribed and how sustainable medical
practices can reduce healthcare's waste stream.  Preliminary data for 2007
from Teleosis shows that 40% of prescription medications go unused, and the
total wholesale value of returned medicines exceeded $112,000.

"By deepening our understanding of the quantities of medicines discarded, we
can better comprehend the effectiveness of our current pharmacological
approaches to illness, presenting a case for sustainable health care,"
Kreisberg said.

 "By deepening our understanding of the quantities of medicines discarded,
we can better comprehend the effectiveness of our current pharmacological
approaches to illness, presenting a case for sustainable health care"

- Dr. Joel Kreisberg
Executive Director
Teleosis Institute 

A study by the United States
Geological Survey in 2002 found over 80% of waterways tested in the U.S.
show traces of common medications such as acetaminophen, hormones,
antidepressants, blood pressure medicine, codeine and antibiotics.
Consumers often discard of unused and expired medicines in the sink or
toilet, which can contaminate waterways and damage aquatic life.

The Teleosis Institute launched the Green Pharmacy Program in an effort to
reduce pharmaceutical pollution of San Francisco waterways and increase
public awareness about the environmental impact of discarded medications. It
also is participating in SB 966 Pharmaceutical Stakeholders Meeting,
sponsored by California Integrated Waste Management Board, which is
convening various organizations to identify effective strategies for
reducing pharmaceutical waste at a state level.

The Green Pharmacy Program spans multiple sectors of the industry, educating
and engaging manufacturers, distributors, pharmacists, physicians,
consumers, and waste management to participate in a solution to the growing
problem of pharmaceutical pollution in environment.  Green Pharmacy
take-back site include:

*	Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Berkeley and Monterrey,CA 
*	Teleosis Institute Office, Berkeley, CA 
*	Transcendentist, Berkeley, CA 
*	Foundation For The Healing Arts, San Rafael CA 
*	Chimes Pharmacy, Berkeley, CA 
*	Elephant Pharmacy, Los Altos, Walnut Creek, Berkeley 
*	Health First! Pharmacy, Windsor, CA 
*	VCA Albany Animal Hospital, Albany , CA 
*	United Pharmacy, Berkeley, CA 
*	Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy, Location to be determined 
*	Coastal Health Alliance, Bolinas and Point Reyes, CA. 

Teleosis Institute is actively seeking sponsorship to expand the Green
Pharmacy Program. Current corporate sponsors include Pharmacy Integrative
Pharmacy and Integrated Waste Control, Inc. Pharmaca's will be offering free
medicine disposal several of its California locations, including its newest
Rockridge, Oakland opening on March 28, 2008.

Teleosis Institute recognizes that environmentally safe disposal of unused
medications is not the final solution. The Green Pharmacy Program is an only
one part of the Teleosis Institute's Green Health Care model
(www.greenhealthcare.org), a vision of medicine that provides leadership in
environmental and sustainable healthcare by developing innovative approaches
to reducing the environmental impact of medicine.

About The Teleosis Institute
The Teleosis Institute is an educational non-profit organization devoted to
reducing the environmental impact of health care.  The Institute promotes
sustainable medical practices and works in partnership with the health care
community to build a movement for positive social and environmental change.
Programs and educational materials include: The Green Health Care Program,
The Green Pharmacy Program, Symbiosis: The Journal of Ecologically
Sustainable Medicine, and Environmental Health Brochures. Visit
www.teleosis.org for more information


Green Health Care is a service mark of the Teleosis Institute.  Teleosis is
Greek for "greater self realization."




1.  Teleosis Institute Programs

*	Green Pharmacy Program <http://www.teleosis.org/gpp-program.php> , 

Dr. Joel Kreisberg, There
<http://www.teleosis.org/pdf/symbiosis/There_Medicine_Waters.pdf>  is
Medicine in These Waters, Symbiosis: The Journal of Sustainable Medicine,
Teleosis Institute, Vol. 4, No 1, p 4. (This article sites 16 related
articles and studies).

Dr. Joel Kreisberg <http://www.teleosis.org/board-directorsfinal.php#JK> ,
DC, MA.  Dr. Kreisberg is speaking at the American Medical Student
Association Conference Wednesday, March 12 at 11:30 at the Hyatt Regency,
Houston, TX. 

*	Green Health Care Program <http://www.teleosis.org/ghc.php>  
*	Symbiosis: The <http://www.teleosis.org/symbiosis-current.php>
Journal of Ecologically Sustainable Medicine 
*	Environmental Health <http://www.teleosis.org/brochures-guides.php>

2. Kolpin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Meyer, M.T., Thurman, E.M., Zaugg, S.D.,
Barber, L.B., and Buxton, H.T., 2002, Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other
organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999-2000: a national
reconnaissance: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 36, p. 1202-1211.
Retrieved on March 10, 2008 from

3. U.S. Geological Services,

4. Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety, http://www.comofcom.com
<http://www.comofcom.com/> .  Unused & Expired Medicine Registry,


Business Wire News

20080311005526&newsLang=en> &newsId=20080311005526&newsLang=en 


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