EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Mayo Clinic Health System is providing a safer, more convenient way to dispose of unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.
Specially designated receptacles, called Take Back Boxes, have been placed at Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Menomonie, Wisconsin, as part of an initiative that received strong support from the Mayo Clinic Opioid Stewardship Committee. The committee, a multidisciplinary team formed to achieve safe and consistent opioid prescribing across Mayo Clinic, worked with pharmacy staff to determine convenient locations.
“We are very happy to be able to add the Take Back Boxes to our pharmacy locations on the Luther Campus in Eau Claire and in Menomonie,” says Michele Richmond, director of Pharmacy Outpatient Services for Mayo Clinic Health System in Wisconsin. “Patients often ask how and where they can safely dispose of medications. Now they can take advantage of this quick, convenient and safe option the next time they come in for an appointment.”
Keeping medications indefinitely at home can lead to unintended outcomes. Sometimes, patients will incorrectly use leftover prescriptions when they should seek medical attention. Or worse, unsecured prescriptions could fall into the hands of a child or teenager rummaging through a medicine cabinet. And medications can lose their efficacy if kept past their expiration date.
“When people have medications left over after recovering from a procedure, there is a chance they could be diverted to an inappropriate use,” Richmond says. “People can minimize this chance by disposing of medications once they are no longer needed.”
Opioid diversion continues to be a serious problem in the U.S., with drug overdoses having tripled since 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To avoid diversion and misuse of opioids, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recommends destroying unused or expired opioids, or having patients drop off medications to a DEA-designated drop box or take-back program.
Medications can be disposed of at these Mayo Clinic Health System Pharmacy locations and times:
- Eau Claire — Luther campus (weekdays, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.)
- La Crosse (weekdays, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.)
- Menomonie (weekdays, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon)
The receptacles are intended for patients and the public. Anything placed in the receptacles, even unintended objects like a cellphone or a child’s toy, can’t be retrieved. Medications are sealed in opaque liners that cannot be opened prior to destruction.
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Press ContactDan Lea