The objective of this service-learning research project was to discover current practices and barriers related to proper medication disposal while protecting the safety of the public and the integrity of the environment. Collection and analysis of unused medications followed by environmentally friendly disposal is a current vision found in the Healthy People 2020 initiative and coincides with this objective. Since 2012, medication collection events have been conducted in multiple locations in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas. Students from the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, professors from Purdue University's College of Pharmacy, members of local police forces, and organizations throughout the community such as Lafayette's Meals on Wheels and the Tippecanoe Drug Free Coalition have all played a major role in the success of these projects. Medications were collected from residents locally and surveys inquiring about current practices and barriers relating to medication disposal were offered to these individuals. Data collected include: category of drug returned, quantity of drug returned, expiration date, automatic refill status, origin of medication, past disposal methods, reason for turning in medication, payment for disposal, knowledge of proper disposal, gender, age, and education. Disposal was anonymous and no identifying factors were collected from members of the public. The results of our medication collection events and data exemplify the need for routine collections and proper education on medication disposal. Additionally, results suggest that student pharmacists can play a key role in collecting unused, expired, or unwanted medications while delivering education to the public concerning proper disposal.
Henderson, William L.
"Unwanted Medication Collection Events: The Importance of Proper Disposal,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 2
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol2/iss1/4