More Medication Safety, Disposal Options Available

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As submitted to The New York Times

To the Editor:

Thank you for highlighting the importance of prescription drug safety and disposal ("Mistakes in Storage May Alter Medication," Aug. 16, 2011). There are other important aspects that Times readers should know about as well.

Pharmacists recommend that patients take a medication inventory at least twice a year and never share medications with others. Safeguard My Meds ( offers additional tips, free tools and resources.

When medications are no longer needed, community drug-collection events are important but may only occur periodically. Year-round, local disposal options can be found at the 1,400 community pharmacies nationwide participating in the voluntary Dispose My Meds program ( These pharmacies help consumers properly dispose of unused and unwanted drugs (not including controlled substances), often at no cost.

Your community pharmacist looks forward to talking to you soon.

Robert J. Greenwood, RPhPresident and Waterloo, Iowa pharmacy owner
National Community Pharmacists Association
100 Daingerfield Rd Alexandria, Va.

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