AG Wilson Joins Walgreens to Announce Expansion of Safe Medication Disposal Program in South Carolina

(COLUMBIA, SC) –  May 21, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined Walgreens to announce the expansion of safe medication disposal kiosks to more Walgreens locations in South Carolina. AmerisourceBergen, Pfizer and Prime Therapeutics are joining Walgreens to expand the availability of the year-round safe medication disposal kiosks to 20 locations throughout the state.

The expansion is part of an effort announced last year by leading health care organizations to combat the national opioid abuse crisis by increasing the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores around the country. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in approximately 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined representatives from AmerisourceBergen and Walgreens today at a Columbia Walgreens location to mark the expansion effort.

“South Carolina has one of the top-10 highest opioid prescription rates in the nation, and we know that a lot of those medications end up in the wrong hands after being taken out of parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “Having these safe medication disposal sites will go a long way in preventing a lot of the problems we’ve been seeing in this opioid epidemic.”

Safe medication disposal kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, at no cost. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Safe medication disposal kiosks have collected more than 270 tons of unwanted medications since the program began in 2016.  This is an additional 115 tons since the company announced its partnership last fall with leading health care organizations to expand the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks. Collections have reached nearly 40 percent of the organizations’ goal to collect an additional 300 tons of unwanted medication in two years.

“At AmerisourceBergen, we understand the important role we play in helping combat medication diversion, and are committed to finding comprehensive solutions to mitigate the opioid epidemic impacting our communities,” said George Rafferty, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships at AmerisourceBergen. “The expansion of Walgreens highly successful safe medication disposal program is a strong example of the type of innovation and collaboration that’s needed to prevent misuse, and we are proud to support these critical efforts driving sustained change and progress.”

“Pfizer is proud to be a part of Walgreens efforts to increase prescription drug disposal options for consumers in South Carolina through expansion of its safe medicine disposal program. In South Carolina, and around the country, Pfizer is committed to supporting proper disposal of prescription drugs by enhancing consumer awareness, increasing utilization of existing disposal resources, and expanding disposal options when needed,” said Robert W. Jones, Senior Vice President, Pfizer U.S. Government Relations.

A recent survey by Prime Therapeutics showed nearly a quarter of adults keep unused opioids instead of disposing of them. “This crisis calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach and Prime is proud to be sponsoring this take-back kiosk initiative as an extension of Prime’s existing Controlled Substances Management Program,” said Jonathan Gavras, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Prime Therapeutics. “Prime encourages everyone in the state of South Carolina, and across the country, to go through their medicine cabinets and drop their unwanted medicines safely into a nearby Walgreens kiosk.”

“We are proud to work with organizations from throughout the health care community to make it even easier for people to dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Rick Gates, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Operations, Walgreens. “The expansion of the program throughout South Carolina is a great example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

You can find the closest safe medication disposal location to you by clicking here and entering your zip code.

Schedule a Tour or Visit

Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

image description
Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

Back to top