Porter to provide ‘Drug Deactivation Pouches’ to patients

MIDDLEBURY — With the assistance of then-State Rep. Fred Baser, the UVM Health Network/Porter Medical Center this past summer received a donation of 1,000 “Drug Deactivation Pouches” which provide a safe and responsible drug disposal method. The donation was made possible through a donation partnership with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. “It is an ongoing priority and challenge to support our patients who have unused or expired medications and wish to dispose of them safely,” said Porter Medical Group medical director Dr. Natasha Withers. “We plan to distribute these pouches to our primary care practices with an information flyer which will help our providers explain to patients how to use these pouches and help us ensure that medications do not fall into the wrong hands,” she added.
The drug deactivation pouches render chemical compounds safe for landfills so that medications can safely be included in the household trash. According to the manufacturer, “up to 45,000 prescription pills could be destroyed safely if every pouch donated to Porter is used to its capacity.” According to a recent national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 68 percent of those who used prescription pain relievers non-medically obtained them from relatives.
“Our organization has a number of ongoing initiatives to both educate and support our patients who wish to dispose of medications correctly, and this donation and new resource for our primary care practices will make a real difference in advancing this important work,” according to Withers.
Porter Medical Center is offering a kiosk in the hospital where the public can come to dispose of prescription medications, which has been made possible, in part, by funding from the Vermont Department of Health.
“We all recognize that we are in the midst of an addiction epidemic,” says Renee Mosier, pharmacy director at Porter Medical Center. “Much research shows that many addictions start or are accelerated by ‘left-over’ medications in home medicine cabinets. We have had the goal of offering a safe and easy way to dispose of medications to the community for a long time, and through support from the Vermont Department of Health, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals we now have two options to offer the community at no charge.”

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