FUNDING AWARDED TO CONTINUE STATEWIDE PHARMACEUTICAL DISPOSAL PROJECT

Nebraska MEDS Coalition, Nebraska Pharmacists Association Continue Effort to Ensure Safe Medication Disposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Marcia Mueting, Nebraska Pharmacists Association, 402-420-1500; Joan McVoy, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, 800-222-1222; Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation, 402-434-2740


LINCOLN, NE (June 8, 2016) – The Nebraska Pharmacists Association was awarded a $280,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for “Preventing Poisoning, Pollution and Prescription Drug Overdose for a Healthier Nebraska.” The project is one of the 118 projects receiving $18,799,900 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) this year. The Nebraska Pharmacists Association has also received $300,000 from a legislative appropriation through the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Nebraska Medication Education for Disposal Strategies (MEDS) Coalition and the Nebraska Pharmacists Association (NPA) have been addressing the safety concerns of unused medication for over 7 years. Increasing deaths due to drug overdose and environmental impacts are the driving forces for the establishment of the Coalition. The NPA and the Nebraska MEDS Coalition advocate for public education and simple, cost-effective, year-round options for the safe and legal disposal of unused medications in all Nebraska communities.

Since 2012, the NPA and the Nebraska MEDS Coalition have worked with pharmacies across the state to collect and properly dispose of leftover medications. Pharmacies participating in the Nebraska MEDS project accept leftover, unused, and expired medications to help divert pharmaceutical waste from landfills and water sources by offering an alternative to flushing or trashing. Public health is protected through this project by removing medications from patients’ homes as a potential source of poisoning and overdose.

Currently, the NPA is supplying 292 pharmacies statewide with containers to collect unused medications funded by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Since the take-back project began in August 2012, 32,162 pounds of medications have been collected and properly disposed.

Funding from NET will support collection containers, shipping, and disposal costs to expand statewide efforts to address collection of both non-controlled and controlled medications in 2016. A legislative appropriation will fund the remainder of this project, including a robust marketing and educational program to reach as many residents of Nebraska as possible. The Nebraska MEDS Coalition’s message is simple: take back your leftover, unused, and expired medications to a participating pharmacy today. Find a pharmacy near you at www.leftovermeds.com.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $250 million in grants to more than 1,900 projects across the state. Anyone - citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

The Nebraska Medication Education on Disposal Strategies (MEDS) Coalition consists of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, WasteCap Nebraska and The Groundwater Foundation.  The mission of the Nebraska MEDS Coalition is to educate Nebraskans about drug disposal and provide safe ways to dispose of them in order to better safeguard the environment and protect public health. 

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