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Nation's First of its Kind Consumer Medication Return Initiative Creates Momentum for Safe Drug Disposal in the U.S.
Date:5/8/2008

am has been on the table at CRI, the pharmaceutical industry's leading processor of pharmaceutical returns, for years. When the company was invited to present a mail-back consumer medicine return model at the 2006 International Unused Drug Conference in Portland Maine, it was a golden opportunity to accelerate and fine-tune details of their process, which uses reverse distributors to properly dispose of outdated and unused medicine.

"We are in the business of safe drug disposal for leading retailers and manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry and a program tailored for the public has been on our agenda for some time," says Mary Hendrickson, Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for CRI and a registered pharmacist. "The challenge was to design a simple way for the public to get their unused medication to us for safe disposal and we were pleased when our medicine mail-back program became a reality through this pilot."

With newfound enthusiasm, Ms. Hendrickson and CRI brought the model back to Wisconsin and together with UWEX, created an ad-hoc group of individuals charged with addressing consumer pharmaceutical waste in the state. The group, led by Steve Brachman, Waste Reduction Specialist for UWEX, included Waukesha and Winnebago County recycling managers and other local county solid waste officials as well as representatives from the EPA, Illinois Indiana Sea Grant program, Wisconsin DNR and CRI. By early 2008 funding was secured to administer a pilot program and work began to assemble partners to help with awareness and execution.

Under the pilot program, consumers residing in the two counties will be able to call a special 800 number (1-800-958-5859) to receive instructions and a pre-paid shipping label. CRI, a company licensed as a reverse pharmaceutical distributor, will handle the calls and provide a return authorization and send out a pre-paid label for the old or unused medications, excluding controlled substances. This process
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SOURCE GENCO
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