Community Drug Disposal Program



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          

          CONTACT:  Hitesh Patel, Owner

People First Pharmacy

972-300-4130 x-462


People First Pharmacy Launches New Drug Take-Back Program

for Consumer Drug Disposal


Carrollton, Texas (March 30, 2011) — In response to news about the presence of pharmaceuticals contaminating the water supply and teenage abuse of prescription drugs, People First Pharmacy is now offering a new drug take back program to help its patients safely dispose of medicines that may be dangerous to others and to the environment.


“As members of the community, pharmacists are in a prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medications, from dispensing to disposal,” said owner Tesh Patel, RPh.  “Unused or expired medications pose risks to our families, communities, and the environment. We welcome all in the community to talk to our pharmacists about their prescriptions and how to store, use and dispose of them properly.”


Patel is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, which launched a new Protect Your Pharmacy Now! Prescription Drug Disposal to help its members create consumer drug disposal programs for medicines that may be dangerous to others and to the environment.


Patients of any pharmacy are invited to safely dispose of unused and expired medications at People First Pharmacy, free of charge, by bringing in the drugs in their original packaging. The pharmacy will work to dispose of the drugs using the Sharps TakeAway™ Environmental Return System, a safe, easy method to dispose of unused patient medications in an environmentally friendly way. More details are available at their website or by calling 972-300-4130 x-462.


The Office of National Drug Control has found that prescription drugs are the drug of choice among 12- and 13-year olds, while a third of all new abusers of prescription drugs were between the ages of 12 and 17. Though it may be argued that the presence of drugs in drinking water is negligible, more and more consumers are disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the drain, adding pharmaceutical pollution to our waters. In addition, medicines thrown in the trash can end up in landfills if not first picked up by children, pets, sanitation employees, or anyone who rummages through trash.


The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $84 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 300,000 full-time employees, and dispense nearly half of the nation’s retail prescription medicines.

How prescription medications are priced?

The majority of patients are unaware of what prescription drugs actually cost. They know the amount of the co-pay they hand over each month, but they have no idea what it costs your pharmacy to obtain, safely dispense and get reimbursed for their medications.
This lack of awareness by patients creates a misconception that can be detrimental to their health, and clouds the general understanding of the value of medication therapy in an overall health plan design.
Patients don’t know the specifics about the current reimbursement model in which your pharmacy is required to participate. They don’t know that after submitting a claim to a PBM, your pharmacy could end up essentially paying the PBM to dispense that drug. They certainly don’t know that the profit PBMs gain from that don’t go back to their employer.
Patients might not even understand that your pharmacy must wait for reimbursements every month for almost every drug you dispense. Patients are often shocked to find out that around 90 percent of the average pharmacy’s claims are paid via a complicated “I.O.U.” system. Even physicians often don’t know what medications and treatments cost.
Pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers and PBMs are often unwilling to tell the public the price of a product. Why? Because the world of drug prices, generic and brands, patents and manufacturer rebates is a complicated one, and any cost that is hidden or confusing is easy to inflate.
Without understanding the cost to produce drugs and the payment process behind the pharmaceutical industry, patients will never advocate for their hometown pharmacists to receive compensation for their valuable counseling and other healthcare–providing services. If uninformed, they’ll never be willing to pay for those services.
The current PBM reimbursement system has caused pharmacists’ value to be inextricably tied to the “dispensing” of a product. Without the product being part of the “transaction”, the role of the pharmacist has been viewed as having little value.
If a pharmacist counseled a patient and informed the patient that a prescribed medication therapy would be harmful to the patient, should the patient (or the plan sponsor) pay the pharmacists for that service? What if that advice avoided a costly hospital stay for the patient and plan sponsor? What if that advice saved the patient’s life? Under the current PBM reimbursement system, the pharmacist would receive no payment for that critical service, for that craft honed through years of education, professional practice and focused care.
Take every opportunity you can to explain a portion of the pharmaceutical payment model to patients. Chances are, they’ll listen to their trusted pharmacist. And, maybe eventually bring up issues with their plan sponsors. Without change coming from the patient level, your pharmacy can’t hope for it either.

People First was in the news!

Did you know People First was in the news when a suspect was hiding in our pharmacy. Our staff went into action as soon as they discovered what was going on.