Student-led Safe Medication Disposal Event Yields 1,200lbs
The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy hosted its 11th Safe Medication Disposal Event on Tuesday, April 2. Students operated two collection locations simultaneously, on Ingalls Mall and at Michigan Medicine. For the first time, students collected sharps in additional to over the counter and controlled medication.
“We collected a lot more sharps than we expected, which really demonstrates the need for this type of service in our community,” explains Wolfegang Moorhouse, PharmD’21, Phi Delta Chi Professionalism Co-Chair. The students broke all previous collection totals, taking back 653lbs of medication and 631lbs of sharps. Since the events inception, student have collected over 4,700lbs of medication and sharps, preventing them from ending up in landfills, our water supply, or the wrong hands.
“Everyone that came by was so happy we were taking back sharps,” says Wolfegang. “While the numbers speak for themselves, so did the community members. Many said they had been waiting years to get rid of their sharps. A large number of community members also talked to the student volunteers about their concern regarding the opioid crisis. Events like this not only give the community an opportunity to dispose of old medications, but also increases visibility to the problems old medication and sharps can cause.”
This student run and organized event was a collaboration between Phi Delta Chi, the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and the University of Michigan Police Department.Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and Drug & Laboratory Disposal, Inc., who helped with the disposal of the collected medications. Student volunteers collected and sorted medication, as well as educated the public on safe medication handling procedures.
The students would like to thank faculty members Dr. Jolene Bostwick, Dr. Sarah Vordenberg, and Dean Nancy Mason for precepting the event and staff members Pat Greeley for coordinating the facility needs of the event, and Jillian Hayes for promoting the event. Additional thanks to Families Against Narcotics and Unified Youth Intervention Prevention for their assistance getting the word out about the event.
The College hosts two medication disposal events each year in April and October. Check the College of Pharmacy events page for information on future medication disposal events.
For information on medication and sharps disposal resources available year round, visit the College’s medication safety page.