July 21, 2017

Drug disposal pouches donated to keep drugs off streets

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is coordinating distribution of 50,000 medication disposal pouches donated by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. This donation is extremely timely as DHSS attempts to stem the diversion of unused opioids in Missouri.

A national survey of U.S. adults who use opioids showed that nearly 6 out of 10 had or expect to have leftover opioids, according to findings published online June 13, 2016, in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. Also, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national survey on drug use and health determined that nearly 51 percent of those who misused prescription painkillers got them from friends or relatives.

“As a company focused on the health and well-being of our patients and communities, Mallinckrodt has long been a strong advocate of addressing the complex issues of opioid misuse and abuse,” said Mark Trudeau, Mallinckrodt President and Chief Executive Officer. “We share the concerns of all Missourians and have worked to provide medication deactivation pouches for more than 400,000 Missouri families. A safe and responsible way to dispose of unused medications is critical in this fight.”

“We commend Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for efforts to combat this public health crisis,” he continued. “Mallinckrodt is committed to working with policy makers, community leaders, law enforcement and industry partners to ensure the responsible use of pain medication and prevent unused medications from ending up in the wrong hands.”

The pouch-based systems that Mallinckrodt is donating deactivate prescription drugs and render chemical compounds safe for landfills through four simple steps as follows:

  1. The sealable pouch which contains active carbon is opened by the patient.
  2. The patient adds any remaining, unused medications and water to the pouch.
  3. Carbon in the pouch binds to the drugs active ingredients and breaks the medication down.
  4. The patient seals the pouch which can then be safely disposed of in the household garbage.

DHSS will be partnering with local public health agencies and other organizations to distribute the donated pouches while maintaining a small number for requests that will be received from across the state. Five counties have been selected to receive the initial distribution. The Butler County Public Health Department in Poplar Bluff will be one such distribution location. The Alliance of Southwest Missouri, located in Joplin, will also be assisting with distribution of the pouches for citizens in Barton County, MacDonald County, Jasper County and Newton County.

For more information on the department’s efforts to combat Missouri’s opioid crisis, please visit http://health.mo.gov.