“America’s Other Drug Problem” – (Truthdig / ProPublica)

Every year nursing homes nationwide flush, burn or throw out tons of valuable prescription medications. – 2017/05/02

Source: America’s Other Drug Problem

You likley know about America’s (and really, the West’s in general) enormous food waste problem. However, you likley didn’t know that there is also an enormous problem of wasted (often unexpired, otherwise perfectly usable) drugs. Drugs which often end up either getting burned, flushed, or sent to landfills. Often for some of the very same reasons that drive the massive amount of Food waste in North America.
There is a need. And there is even some WANT on the part of the biggest contributors to the problem (mainly Nursing Homes, but also Hospitals, Doctors Offices and other medical facilities). But it is often easier and cheaper to just dispose  of the meds rather than re-purpose them. A process that would actually COST a fair amount of money for any facility (let alone an organization with a network of many).

Worth a read.

I am unsure of how other places in the West (Canada, UK, etc) are doing on this front, being that single payer often eliminates any charitable aftermarket for these left over drugs domestically. But it would be also interesting to know. Not just because of the environmental threat, but also because these drugs could be useful to organizations like Doctors Without Boarders.


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