October 24, 2017

Partnering with police to take back unwanted medications

Program addresses vital public safety and public health issues while providing a convenient way to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.

PASADENA, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, are encouraging community members to participate in the 14th “ National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free, easy and anonymous.

“Events like this offer health care providers and law enforcement an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of properly storing and disposing of prescription medication,” said Alan Kiyohara, vice president, Pharmacy Operations and Services for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Our ultimate goal is to assure high-quality care by providing appropriate medications and ensuring patient safety, and this effort is right in keeping with that goal.”

Prescription drug take-back programs address vital public safety and public health issues while providing local residents with a convenient way to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse

At the last Drug Take-Back event in April, Kaiser Permanente facilities in Southern California collected more than 7,000 pounds of unwanted medications. Properly disposing prescription drugs reduces the risk of abuse, accidental poisonings and environmental damage.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015 alone. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from home medicine cabinets.

People unable to participate on Oct. 28 can properly dispose of unwanted medications at drug disposal kiosks in Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout Southern California.  Kiosks are available at Kaiser Permanent locations for public use during regular service hours. A listing of additional kiosks available for public use can found on the Drug Enforcement Administration website.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.