This website is a resource for developing innovative and sustainable strategies for managing and reducing pharmaceutical waste in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region.
All those involved in the life cycle of pharmaceuticals –from design through manufacture, use and disposal — can help reduce pharmaceutical waste.
Scroll down this page to see news relating to pharmaceutical waste. For a printable document describing what’s happening in household pharmaceutical waste in Wisconsin and beyond, see Pharm waste whats happening 2013-7-5.
- The Food and Drug Administration is requiring changes to labels for opioid analgesics, to help prevent misuse. The press release mentions that pharmaceutical companies are required to make available to health care professionals educational programs on how to safely prescribe opioid analgesics and to provide Medication Guides and patient counseling documents containing information on the safe use, storage, and disposal of certain opioids.
- A judge in California has upheld Alameda County’s drug disposal ordinance. Read the ruling here. Review the Alameda County drug disposal page.
- King County, Washington, in the Seattle metropolitan area, passed a law on June 20, 2013, requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to set up programs to collect unused medications in the county. See this press release.
- Minnesota has released new studies on pharmaceuticals found in its surface waters.
- The National Pharmaceutical Waste Summit was held in Milwaukee on Tuesday June 11, 2013. See the agenda and a post-summit press release.
- UW Extension has launched a Pharmaceutical Waste Reduction website aimed primarily at healthcare facilities who want to reduce pharmaceutical waste, but that also suggests actions that will reduce household medication waste.
- On Saturday, April 27, 2013, DEA collected 22.8 tons worth of unwanted medications from Wisconsin, compared to a total of 30.1 tons collected in the state during the two DEA collection events in 2012. Read about it in this press release.
- DNR has released a report on pharmaceutical waste entitled “Wisconsin Household Pharmaceutical Waste Collection – Challenges and Opportunities”. Read the DNR press release and the UW Extension/Product Stewardship press release about the report. The actual report is a large PDF file. Read a summary and access the report on the DNR website under the “Department Study” tab.
- DEA has published draft regulations regarding collection of controlled substances. The Federal Register announcement of the proposal is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-21/pdf/2012-30699.pdf Comments are due to DEA on February 19, 2013.
- November 10th marks the third annual American Medicine Chest Challenge. To learn more and to find a collection site, go to American Medicine Chest.
- DEA collected 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of unwanted medications on September 29, 2012. See DEA’s press release. Wisconsin had 123 state, local and tribal law enforcement participants, 147 collection sites, and collected a total of 22,563 lbs. of unwanted, unused and expired pharmaceutical drugs.
- Ontario has adopted a new provincial regulation that would force producers of pharmaceuticals and sharps to be responsible for the proper management of their product waste. Read more here: http://www.solidwastemag.com/news/pharma-syringe-epr-reg-gets-nod-from-owma/1001682867/
- EPA has issued a memorandum about disposing of collected unwanted medications from households. See it here: EPARecomendationsDisposalofHouseholdPharmsCollectedbyTake-BackEvents2012
- The next Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug Take-Back day is Saturday September 29th from 10 AM to 2 PM.
- On July 24th, Alameda County, a county in northern California, passed an ordinance requiring drug companies to fund disposal of their products. For more information, read this article from the Washington Post.
- California pharmaceutical take back could be a national model. Read more at: http://www.wastebusinessjournal.com/news/wbj20110524B.htm
- Methadone accounts for over a third of opioid pain reliever overdose deaths, but accounts for only a few percent of opioid pain reliever prescriptions. See this announcement from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Pennsylvania legislator introduces pharmaceutical waste bill, HR 2466. The bill provides for household medication collections funded with a product stewardship approach.
- Check out the PRESS RELEASE from the 2012 Pharmaceutical Waste Product Stewardship Summit in Chicago!
- Presentations from the Pharmaceutical Waste Product Stewardship Summit NOW AVAILABLE on our Resources page!
- The Office of National Drug Control Policy has found that the primary source of abused prescription drugs is friends and family– either for free or without permission. Read more at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/25/friends-and-family-are-primary-sources-abused-prescription-drugs.
- The next DEA take back day is September 29, 2012.
- The DEA accepted 276 tons of unwanted medications on the April 28, 2012, National Drug Take-Back Day. Read the DEA press release. Over 18 tons (37,642 pounds) of prescription drugs came from Wisconsin alone.
- Wisconsin pharmacies spread the word about reduction and disposal Starting in May 2012, Wisconsin pharmacies are informing their customers about options for pharmaceutical waste reduction and disposal. Acting on a recommendation of the Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Waste Working Group and in partnership with DNR, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin distributed the flier for its member pharmacists to place on their counters or to insert in bags with prescription medications. See the flier here.
See Past News Stories for older news.