KBOO's Yasemin Cobanoglu speaks with Michael Lee, Operations and Policy Analyst for the DEQ's Materials Management Program, about Oregon's new statewide program for safe medication disposal.
The new program and public education campaign were just announced to help Oregon residents dispose of medicine safely and conveniently. The program is being implemented by MED-Project and the Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation, with support from the Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Work Group, a non-profit trade association of pharmaceutical companies. The program provides free disposal locations statewide to ensure residents have equitable access. These include neighborhood pharmacies, medical facilities, law enforcement offices and other community-based organizations. Oregonians who prefer to mail their expired or unwanted medications can request a pre-paid, mail-back package or locate a mail-back package distribution site, such as a local pharmacy. Safe drug disposal is critical to reducing the health and environmental impacts of leftover medications and the program is funded by drug manufacturers.