California Agency Developing Medication Disposal Program
California officials hope to have designed a pilot of a medication disposal program by the end of 2008, the Contra Costa Times reports (news low in story).
Legislation approved in 2007 requires the Board of Waste Management to create such a program in hopes of keeping prescription drugs from contaminating the water supply.
At least 14 pharmacies and health care offices in the San Francisco Bay Area offer such programs.
For example, the Teleosis Institute in Berkeley says its medication disposal initiative has collected more than 900 pounds of unused and expired medications since it launched in June 2007, and Sharon Leaf, a pharmacist affiliated with Alta Bates Medical Center, estimates that a similar program at Alta Bates' outpatient pharmacy has collected between 400 and 500 pounds of medications since the effort began more than a year ago.
Such programs are gaining increasing interest in the light of recent reports about traces of medications being found in the nation's water supply (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 3/12).