Saturday is Drug Take-Back Day, a Drug Enforcement Administration event that began in 2010. It’s a chance for the public to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs; the event’s web site lists a number of area drop-off locations.
According to today’s Fort Collins Coloradoan, the DEA collects the discarded pills, patches and elixirs, trucking them to a $200 million incinerator in the high desert of northwestern Utah, where they’re destroyed at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit under intensely secure conditions.
It’s a perfect opportunity to explain how Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies dispose of unused or discarded pharmaceuticals to keep virtually all of it out of the trash or drain.
PVH and MCR pharmacists routinely go through medications, pulling and setting aside pharmaceuticals that are expired or can’t be used for various reasons.
Once a quarter, a company called EXP Pharmaceutical Services picks up the unused drugs and take them to EXP facilities for processing; EXP incinerates the medications or sends them back to manufacturers.
Another company, Clean Harbors, comes to PVH and MCR every week to pick up more-hazardous substances.
“Very little gets into the trash or down the drain,” said Rodney Good, director of pharmacy services at Medical Center of the Rockies.
When the state of Colorado inspected MCR a few years ago, Good said, it was only one of two hospitals in state with no deficiencies related to how it disposes of hazardous materials.