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DEC: 172 pharmacies, hospitals & long-term care facilities participating in 2nd round of state's pilot drug 'take-back' program

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Thu, Feb 15th 2018 05:15 pm
State's pharmaceutical take-back pilot program aims to improve water quality, protect public health and reduce safety risks; 74 facilities enrolled in 1st round of drug take-back program in 2017
Retail pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities encouraged to apply during the open enrollment period
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the second group of participants in the state's $2 million pilot pharmaceutical "take-back" program. Participants include 172 retail pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities across the state. To date, 246 facilities are now enrolled in the program, which began in 2017.
The second-round locations enrolled in the pilot pharmaceutical "take back" program will officially begin accepting waste medications in May, when medication collection boxes are delivered to and installed by participating pharmacies. Until then, the public is encouraged to use existing medication collection box locations, which can be found by visiting DEC's website http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/67720.html and clicking on "NYS Medication Drop Box Locations" link.
"Installing medication drop boxes in community pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities increases opportunities for New Yorkers to properly and easily dispose of unwanted medications," Seggos said. "The hundreds of pharmacies and facilities participating in New York's free drug 'take-back' program are protecting their communities and the environment." 
Under the drug "take-back" program, DEC will purchase medication collection boxes and pay for the disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years. Implementation of this pilot program aims to help improve water quality, protect public health by removing medications from home medicine cabinets, and reduce potential adverse impacts to fish and aquatic organisms.
The pharmaceutical "take-back" program complements Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's ongoing efforts to combat opioid addition by removing unused and expired pharmaceuticals from the waste stream.
In addition, in his veto of Senate Bill 6750, which would have required chain pharmacies to provide drug disposal options paid for by customers, Cuomo directed DEC to engage with stakeholders and local governments to prepare a report on the feasibility of creating and implementing a comprehensive, statewide pharmaceutical product stewardship program. DEC will issue the report later this year.
The statewide pilot pharmaceutical "take-back" program is funded with $2 million from the state's Environmental Protection Fund. These resources will cover the full cost of purchasing U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-compliant medication drop boxes, as well as the cost of pick up, transport, and destruction of collected waste pharmaceuticals for a two-year period. The governor's proposed executive budget for 2018-19 includes an additional $1 million to support this pilot program.
With technological advances in analytical techniques, it is now possible to detect low levels of drugs in surface water and groundwater. Some drugs pass largely unaltered through wastewater treatment plants and enter rivers and other waterways.
Flushed medications have been found in New York lakes, rivers and streams. They can negatively affect the waterways. A national study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1999 and 2000 found low levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80 percent of rivers and streams tested. Medications adversely affect fish and other aquatic wildlife and increase the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
In addition, there are concerns about unused pharmaceuticals getting into the wrong hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one U.S. citizen dies every 16 minutes from a drug overdose and has declared this public health threat an epidemic. 
New York State Sen. Tom O'Mara, chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "It's incredibly important to do anything and everything we can to complement and support the efforts of local law enforcement and other community leaders to combat prescription drug abuse.  These efforts include national prescription drug 'take- back' days and other initiatives like this one to encourage the collection, and safe and responsible disposal of unused medications. New York's program to expand the number of permanent, locally based drop-off locations is a very positive addition to the state's ongoing, overall effort to protect our communities and local environments."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Expired, unwanted and unused pharmaceutical drugs require proper disposal in order to prevent unintended consequences such as environmental harm. Flushing unwanted medicine and over the counter products isn't the answer. Studies have detected widespread low-levels of drugs even in drinking water. This funding provided through the Environmental Protection Fund will keep these contaminants out of our water."
Kathy Febraio, executive director, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, said, "Pharmacists across New York state share the concerns of the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the proper disposal of prescription medications and commend them for funding a statewide pilot 'take-back' program to increase protection of the environment and improve public safety. Independent pharmacies are pleased to be significant supporters of a program that will provide this critical service to the communities they serve."
The pilot program is open and is accepting applications. Retail pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities are encouraged to enroll online at the pilot pharmaceutical "take-back" program webpage on DEC's website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/108213.html or at on.ny.gov/rxpilot.
The list of round one awardees is available HERE.
Second Round
Local List of Initial Awardees - Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program
Western NY
Erie
Bertrand Chaffee Hospital
224 East Main Street
Springville, NY 14141
Western NY
Erie
Brooks Pharmacy
4481 Lakeshore Road
Hamburg, NY 14075
Western NY
Erie
Dexter Pharmacy
1453 Jefferson Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14208
Western NY
Erie
Family Medical Pharmacy
120 Plaza Drive
Williamsville, NY 14221
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #42  
3500 Main Street                   
Amherst, NY 14226
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #108
3201 Southwestern Boulevard                      
Orchard Park, NY 14127
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #113 (Perna - Niagara Inc.)            
425 Niagara Street                
Buffalo, NY 14201
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #114 (Broadway Penora Inc.)         
5175 Broadway                     
Depew, NY 14043
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #131
700 Thruway Plaza Drive                  
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #213
1460 South Park Avenue                  
Buffalo, NY 14220
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #226
890 Young Street                   
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #232
2101 Elmwood Avenue                     
Buffalo, NY 14207
Western NY
Erie
Tops Pharmacy #250
1275 Jefferson Avenue                     
Buffalo, NY 14208
Western NY
Niagara
Tops Pharmacy #22  
7200 Niagara Falls Boulevard                       
Niagara Falls, NY 14304-1716

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