CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Health is encouraging Wyoming residents to donate or safely dispose of their unused medications.
The department’s Medication Donation Program accepts unused, in-date, sealed medications (excluding controlled substances). Donated medications can be re-dispensed to low-income residents who lack adequate prescription coverage.
“Many of our friends and neighbors may be struggling to buy the medications they need. Our program offers a way to help,” said Natasha Gallizzi, Medication Donation Program manager and pharmacist with the Wyoming Department of Health. “We bring together people who find they have unused medications on their hands with others who may need those very same medications but can’t afford them.”
As a strategic partner in the Wyoming Institute of Population Health’s Medical Neighborhood Initiative, the program has been working together with hospitals and clinics throughout the state to connect patients who need help with the program.
Almost any medication may be accepted, as well as certain medical items such as diabetes testing supplies or wound care materials. Donations have come from the public, healthcare facilities and physician offices with unused samples. Free shipping is available through a network of donation sites.
Gallizzi noted not all unused medications can be re-used. The Medication Donation Program cannot accept or dispose of controlled substances, such as medications for pain, sleep, anxiety or ADHD. “Instead we recommend people take advantage of events such as the ‘DEA Take Back’ on April 26 or a local ‘drop box’ for these items. Drop boxes can be found in many law enforcement agency locations across Wyoming,” she said.
“Disposing of unused controlled substances properly is something we all can do to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion,” said Gallizzi.
Clearing unused medications from the home may also reduce accidental poisonings among children. Expired, open and refrigerated non-controlled substances must also be discarded as they cannot be re-used to help patients. These items can be taken to DEA Take Back events, local drop boxes or the Medication Donation Program for proper disposal.
Gallizzi reminded residents to avoid taking medications that may be suitable for donation to “DEA Take Back” events or a local law enforcement drop box. “Items collected through these options are all destroyed via incineration so we suggest checking first whether the items are okay for donating for someone else to use.