- A group of 15 eastern Suffolk pharmacies, members of a newly formed alliance called the Peconic Independent Pharmacy Association (PIPA) have announced their first joint project, a prescription drug 'take back' event to take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2010.
Under the program, anyone wishing to safely dispose of their expired, or otherwise unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, will be able to bring them to any of the participating pharmacies and simply drop them off. The meds should be in their original, labeled containers, with the patient's name blacked out with permanent marker. The meds need not have been purchased at a PIPA pharmacy, and no personal identification is required. All types of medications will be accepted. The event is being billed as The Great Peconic Take Back.
In recent years, public awareness of problems caused by the presence of unneeded prescription drugs in the home has been growing. In the United States, more than 71,000 children aged 18 and younger are seen in emergency rooms, every year, for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and more than three in five teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parents' medicine cabinets. More than half say prescription pain relievers are 'available everywhere'. Among young people ages 12-17, prescription medications have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana.
But improper disposal, such as flushing into septic systems, is also an issue. Pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, even in small concentrations, could be causing impacts to humans and to wildlife. A vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, including some bottled waters. Bottlers do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry's main trade group.
Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, the source of 40 percent of the nation's water supply. Federal scientists who drew water in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills, found hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.
Medications turned into the PIPA pharmacies on November 17 will be secured in special containers to be transported to one of several approved facilities for environmentally safe incineration. The cost is being borne by the member pharmacies, and the service is absolutely free to the public.
• Barth's Pharmacy - East Moriches Martin Drugs - Riverhead
• Barth's of Mattituck - Mattituck Park Place Chemists - East Hampton
• Barth's Drug Store - Riverhead Sag Harbor Pharmacy - Sag Harbor
• Barth's Pharmacy - Westhampton Beach Shelter Island Hts Pharmacy - Shelter Island
• Bridgehampton Pharmacy - Bridgehampton Southold Pharmacy - Southold
• Center Island Pharmacy - Hampton Bays Southrifty Drug - Southampton
• East Hampton Pharmacy - East Hampton White's Pharmacy - East Hampton
Liggett Drugs - Hampton Bays