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Mary Hendrickson of GENCO Pharmaceutical Services Speaks Before Senate on the Topic of Drug Take-Back Programs
Date:7/8/2010

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Covered in Mary Hendrickson’s statement were the following:
 
  • The environmental and misuse/abuse concerns associated with improper disposal or non-disposal of medications, as often practiced by long term care facilities and in the home.
  • The simple yet highly regulated process of reverse distribution – to waste-to-energy facilities – of unsold medications from pharmacies, of which GENCO Pharmaceutical Services is the leading provider.
  • An overview of the GENCO take-back program in Wisconsin, which allowed for consumers to return unused medications for incineration in a waste-to-energy facility, meeting with great success from both public safety and environmental standpoints. During the six month program, 1,259 households returned 15,164 medications.
  • The process for handling pharmaceutical waste: Incineration of drugs provides an alternative to burning coal for electricity, resulting in a net greenhouse gas reduction, while keeping drugs out of landfills and the water supply. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey study of 139 bodies of water across the country found that over 80 percent of the water samples were contaminated by prescription drugs, which have been shown to harm fish and wildlife.
  • The barrier to entry for GENCO into a consumer take-back market, despite the company’s standing as the leading provider of reverse distribution for the pharmaceutical industry’s overstocked and expired drugs. The Controlled Substance Act allows only for transfer of controlled substances among the DEA registrants. When a pharmacy dispenses the medication to a patient, the patient is not considered to be
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