Iowa Takeaway Program Collects 75,000 Pounds of Medications
As of January 2014, the TakeAway medication disposal program in Iowa surpassed the mark of 75,000 pounds of properly disposed of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
When you think of something that weighs 75,000 pounds, you may think of 1,340 bushels of corn, 63 beef cows, or 5 combines; but now Iowans have a new 75,000 pound claim to fame and it has nothing to do with farming. As of January 2014, the TakeAway medication disposal program in Iowa surpassed the mark of 75,000 pounds of properly disposed of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Since 2009, the TakeAway program has given Iowans the opportunity to dispose of their medications at participating community pharmacies. TakeAway was implemented by the Iowa Pharmacy Association as the preferred method for Iowans to dispose of their expired and unused medications. The Iowa TakeAway program consists of more than 440 pharmacies from all of Iowa's 99 counties. November 2013 marked the fourth full year of existence of Iowa's TakeAway medication disposal program and the year of 2013 alone brought in 23,175 pounds of properly disposed medications. Sharps Compliance, Inc., is responsible for the ultimate disposal of the medications. Sharps destroys collected medications through a clean incineration process at a DEA registered facility in Carthage, TX.
Proper disposal of medications through TakeAway is important in order to avoid (1) contamination of Iowa's environment and water supply, (2) accidental ingestion by children, seniors, and pets, and (3) drug abuse/misuse by anyone from adolescents to the elderly. Kate Gainer, IPA's executive vice president and CEO, advocates, “TakeAway is a remarkable win/win/win program. It allows for patients to safely and conveniently dispose of their medications in a way that avoids contamination of the environment, along with accidental ingestion and drug misuse. It is a program that allows community pharmacists to be part of the solution to the problem of improper disposal.”
The achievement of yet another milestone showcases that the Iowa TakeAway program continues to be one of the leading statewide drug disposal programs in the nation. Funding for TakeAway was approved by the Iowa legislature through a DNR grant in 2009 and was re-approved in 2010 by the legislature through the Underground Petroleum Storage Fund. Current funding comes from allocated funds of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and other solicited grant funds to ensure no cost to pharmacies and patients to participate. IPA's continued goal is to ensure that a sustainable source of funding for the TakeAway program is identified in order to maintain the level of service provided by pharmacies to their communities.