[Pharmwaste] Walgreens commits to a no cost, safe drug disposal option in all of its pharmacies!

Ed Gottlieb EGottlieb at cityofithaca.org
Fri Nov 2 09:12:50 EDT 2018


Dear Mr. Stahmann,



Thank you for the prompt response.

In case Walgreens isn't aware, there are some kiosks designed for tight spaces, including:

http://www.takebackexpress.com/slimline-medication-collection-unit/

http://www.takebackexpress.com/mini-collection-unit



When details of this initiative are finalized, I hope you will respond to the questions below.



Thank you.



Regards,



Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Tompkins County Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381<tel:(607)%20273-8381>

________________________________
From: Stahmann, Eric [eric.stahmann at walgreens.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:59 PM
To: Ed Gottlieb
Cc: Caruso, Phil; Daugherty, Patricia
Subject: RE: Thanks (+ a ? & suggestion) to Walgreens for commiting to a no cost, safe drug disposal option in all of its pharmacies!

Mr. Gottlieb,
Thank you for your inquiry and feedback.
We are not yet able to share particulars of this initiative as details are still being finalized. We would ultimately love to install kiosks in each of our locations however that process is a very long and arduous one and something that, logistically can’t be accomplished as many of our pharmacies are unable to host a kiosk due to their physical layout and federal guidelines of where kiosks can and can’t be placed within our stores.
Knowing this, come spring of 2019, our strategy is to make a drug disposal option readily available in all of our pharmacies free of charge to anyone that requests it.


Eric Stahmann MS, LPC, CPhT
Manager|Pharmaceutical Integrity|Western Operation
Walgreens Co.| Deerfield, IL 60015
Office#: (847) 315-2688
Cell#: (847) 274-5674
Fax#: (847) 368-6349



From: Ed Gottlieb <EGottlieb at cityofithaca.org<mailto:EGottlieb at cityofithaca.org>>
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 10:51 AM
To: Caruso, Phil <philip.caruso at walgreens.com<mailto:philip.caruso at walgreens.com>>
Cc: Mekstan, Emily <emily.hartwig at walgreens.com<mailto:emily.hartwig at walgreens.com>>; Silverman, Ed <ed.silverman at statnews.com<mailto:ed.silverman at statnews.com>>; lev.facher at statnews.com<mailto:lev.facher at statnews.com>; pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us<mailto:pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us>; Vivian Futran Fuhrman <vivian at productstewardship.us<mailto:vivian at productstewardship.us>>; Cynthia Finley <CFinley at nacwa.org<mailto:CFinley at nacwa.org>>
Subject: Thanks (+ a ? & suggestion) to Walgreens for commiting to a no cost, safe drug disposal option in all of its pharmacies!

Dear Mr. Caruso,

Kudos to Walgreens for being the first chain pharmacy in the U.S. to actively promote take-back for the safe disposal of unwanted household medications!  Walgreens instillation of kiosks in your 24 hour pharmacy locations was a significant commitment that made safe disposal far more convenient for members of those communities.

Walgreens new commitment (press release below) to provide a year-round, safe drug disposal option in all its pharmacies, at no cost to individuals, is a great service to our country!  Thank you so much!

Can you please explain Walgreens choice of a disposal option under this new initiative?  Why home disposal pouches rather than installing more kiosks or providing mail-back envelopes?  You may recall that I emailed you about this on January 3, 2018.

My research shows that kiosks have the lowest disposal cost per pound of unwanted medications ($2-5/lb or about $0.01/prescription), mail-back envelopes cost significantly more than that, and home disposal pouches have, by far, the highest per pound disposal cost ($50-100/lb)*.

Along with the very high per pound disposal cost of home disposal products, there are other concerns with the use of these technologies.**  When explaining Walgreens choice of home disposal pouches, can you please include a response to these concerns?  Thank you.

Your press release notes, "Both programs make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths."  In future, you may want to consider adding a third benefit.  Take-back programs also help reduce the rate of accidental poisonings.

Walgreens, thanks again for your leadership in promoting safe disposal of unwanted household medications!  Your consideration of my questions is very appreciated.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Tompkins County Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381

* Calculation of the estimated per pound cost for two major brands of home disposal pouches:

Rx Destroyer uses Advil (200 mg IBU) pills to determine capacity.  A 200 mg IBU pill weighs 0.315 gm.
This will be used as the average weight for a "pill" in this calculation.

Deterra retail price (multiple vendors) for a disposal pouch that holds 45 pills = $6.50
[Manufacturer’s list price reported as $5.99.]
45 x 0.315 gm = 14.175 gm = 0.0313 pounds @ $6.50 = $207.67/pound (retail)
Assuming a wholesale price of $3.33 (the PA AG paid almost $1 mil for 300,000 pouches), the disposal cost is $106.49/pound

Rx Destroyer, wholesale price of 4 oz size  $100/24 bottles + shipping.
If shipping is $8, 108/24 = $4.50/bottle; A 4 oz bottle holds 50 Advil
50 x 0.315 gm = 15.75 gm = 0.0347 pounds @ $4.50 = $129.68/pound

Estimated wholesale cost, to treat a pound of medication, is $106 & $130, for Deterra & Rx Destroyer, respectively.  Assuming a large bulk order from Walgreens gets a much larger discount, I imagine the cost is still above $50/pound, still the most expensive disposal technology.

**Concerns with home disposal technologies:  https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.productstewardship.us/resource/resmgr/GoToGuide/In-Home_Drug_Disposal_Risks_.pdf<https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.productstewardship.us/resource/resmgr/GoToGuide/In-Home_Drug_Disposal_Risks_.pdf>

PRESS RELEASE:

https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-to-provide-free-safe-medication-disposal-option-in-all-drugstores-in-2019.htm<https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-to-provide-free-safe-medication-disposal-option-in-all-drugstores-in-2019.htm>
Walgreens to Provide Free Safe Medication Disposal Option in All Drugstores in 2019
24 October 2018
Company Has Collected More than 400 Tons of Unwanted Medications to Date
DEERFIELD, Ill., October 24, 2018 - Walgreens today announced it is expanding its effort to combat the opioid epidemic as it encourages Americans to clean out their medicine cabinets in advance of Drug Enforcement Administration sponsored National Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday October 27. To complement its existing safe medication disposal kiosk program, Walgreens has committed to providing a year-round safe drug disposal option in all its pharmacies at no cost to individuals. Beginning in spring 2019, all Walgreens pharmacies that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk will stock a take home safe medication disposal kit in the pharmacy that will be available at no cost upon patient request.
“We are excited to build upon our efforts to make safe medication disposal easier and more accessible to more Americans,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare. “Both of these programs offer the best way to ensure medications are not accidentally or intentionally misused as we continue our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”
Walgreens continues to work with AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics to expand its safe medication disposal kiosk program to 1,500 drugstores across the country. Since the program began, more than 400 tons of medications, which is more than the weight of a 777 jet, has been collected and safely disposed of.
Both programs make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.
Beginning next month, Walgreens will install 14 safe medication disposal kiosks throughout Missouri after working to update rules that will allow for the program’s implementation in the state. When installation is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in select Walgreens across 46 states and Washington D.C.
As part of its continuing effort to combat drug abuse, Walgreens will again participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held on October 27 where select Walgreens stores throughout the country will serve as a collection point for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.
Walgreens continues to increase access to naloxone, a lifesaving medication that if administered in time can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The medication is now available without a physician’s prescription in 48 states including the recent addition of all of its Delaware pharmacies.
To learn more of Walgreens efforts visit Walgreens.com/combatdrugabuse<http://Walgreens.com/combatdrugabuse>.
About Walgreens
Walgreens (walgreens.com<http://walgreens.com>), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. As of August 31, 2018, Walgreens operates 9,560 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com<http://Walgreens.com>. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.
View source version on businesswire.com<http://businesswire.com> https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181024005781/en/<https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181024005781/en/>
Contact(s)
Walgreens
Phil Caruso
847-315-2962
philip.caruso at walgreens.com<mailto:philip.caruso at walgreens.com>
http://news.walgreens.com<http://news.walgreens.com>
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens<http://facebook.com/Walgreens>
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