A New York Times article that appeared in the Sunday, October 11 Plain Dealer included this interesting paragraph:
In some states, prescriptions for noncontrolled substances — those with vastly lower risks for misuse and addiction — are collected and redistributed to those in need. Social services officials in Tulsa, Okla., have about 20 retired doctors who retrieve surplus prescription drugs from dozens of area long-term-care facilities and take them to a pharmacy where they are checked, sorted and donated to low-income residents.
What a wonderful idea, I thought. And why don’t we do that in Ohio?
So I mounted my high horse and wrote four hundred indignant words challenging Ohio to emulate Oklahoma and develop such a program.
Then, just to be safe, I googled “donate unused prescription drugs Ohio,.” and am I ever glad I did. I saved myself one big embarrassment, because Ohio authorized such a program in 2003.
The program authorizes the donation of prescription drugs by only a pharmacy, drug manufacturer, health care facility, or government entity, not by individuals. And the drugs may be dispensed (not sold) by a pharmacy, hospital, or nonprofit clinic to eligible individuals only.
Want to learn more?
- For general information about the drug repository program, see this page on the Ohio Health Care Association website.
- For legal specifications for the program, see Section 3715.87 of the Ohio Revised Code.
- For a history of drug repository programs in Ohio and other states, see this page on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
When my doctor takes me off a prescription, I’m still stuck with the leftovers, but now I don’t feel so bad about it. I understand why I can’t donate them — once the drug leaves the pharmacy, it’s lost its integrity. So I take them to one of our local Lake County drug drop-off sites. (Cuyahoga County has a similar program: see Disposal of Medicine & Needles on the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s website.)
Recycling prescription medications: a Zero Waste program that works for Ohio
Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my Examiner.com page.