About a ton of unused or expired medication is anticipated
By Chris Casey | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. – The third annual RX Disposal day at the Anschutz Medical Campus is expected to bring in a record-setting ton of outdated, unused or expired medications.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in front of Building 500.
In 2010, the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences collected almost 800 pounds of prescription medications. Last year, the School of Pharmacy collected 1,207 pounds, said Dana Brandorff, director of communications and alumni affairs.
This year, the event, which for the second time partners with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as part of its national Take-Back program, expects to log 2,000 pounds of unused medications and medical supplies, including pet medications.
Nationally, the DEA Take-Back initiative has collected 1 million pounds in three years. The program is in response to the prescription drug epidemic, which is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem.
“Opioid painkillers kill more people now than car accidents (annually),” Brandorff said. “They’re prescribed in huge numbers and, unfortunately, people are abusing them.”
Due to environmental and abuse concerns, the public disposal programs such as at Anschutz Medical Campus are held to ensure the medications are safely dropped off for proper disposal.
Again this year, officers from the Aurora Police and the University of Colorado Denver Police departments will assist students and faculty who are volunteering for the RX Disposal. Brandorff said about 60 drop-off sites statewide will participate in this year’s RX Disposal.
“Some of our students will also volunteer at the Loveland, Buena Vista and Salida sites,” she said. Cody Taylor, a second-year School of Pharmacy student, helped coordinate police involvement, which is required at all sites, in several locations this year.
To get to the Building 500 drop-off, turn north onto Aurora Court off Colfax Avenue and follow to the collection area. In addition to disposing of your unused medications, pharmacists and pharmacy students will be available to answer questions about the medications you are currently taking.
The event is supported by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Hospital, DEA, Cares Alliance, 9NEWS, KHOW-AM and multiple law enforcement agencies.