Attorney General Fox Announces Availability of Rx Drug Disposal Grants for Pharmacies Today
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced today the availability of $20,000 in grant funding through the Montana Pharmacy Safe Medication Disposal Initiative. The Attorney General’s Office will award up to ten grants of $2,000 each to selected pharmacy applicants. Attorney General Fox made the announcement while visiting one of the first pharmacies to have a prescription drug take-back program in the state: Florence Pharmacy in Florence. The initiative is meant to increase prescription drug take-back locations at pharmacies throughout Montana, thereby increasing consumer access to safe and responsible medication disposal.
“According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 70% of prescription substance abusers got the drugs they most recently took for a nonmedical purpose from a friend or family member,” Attorney General Fox said. “Removing leftover and expired medications from our homes and responsibly disposing of them makes our communities and our families safer. Some pharmacies, like Florence Pharmacy, are stepping up and making that an easier task by providing take-back programs in their stores. This grant opportunity will allow even more pharmacies to offer this free public safety service at their locations throughout the state.”
All Montana pharmacies are welcome to apply for this grant program, even if they already have a prescription medication disposal setup in place. There is no restriction on or requirement for the size of the pharmacy; both independent and chain pharmacies are welcome to apply, as are community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies.
Grant recipients can use the funding to pay for the purchase of a permanent collection box, signage, destruction of collected materials, advertising the program, or any other medication disposal related expense. The grant application and a ‘frequently asked questions’ document can be found on the Attorney General’s website at dojmt.gov/consumer/prescriptiondrugabuse/pharmacy. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on August 27; grant recipients will be selected and announced by September 4.
Successful applicants will also be asked to document and submit data about their individual programs to the Attorney General’s Office on a quarterly basis. Examples of requested data include: staff hours spent tending to the program, weight of collected materials, total costs incurred, and community response to the program. The data will be compiled into a comprehensive report that can be used to show other pharmacies the realities of running a prescription take-back program.
“Pharmacists are absolutely vital in combatting prescription drug abuse in our state,” Attorney General Fox added. “They verify the legitimacy of prescriptions, watch for possible diversion of controlled substances, and monitor the Montana Prescription Drug Registry for potential doctor shopping. Grant funding from the Montana Pharmacy Safe Medication Disposal Initiative will give them one more weapon in the fight to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
Consumers wishing to safely dispose of their prescription medications can find a law enforcement location in Montana with a drug take-back box at dojmt.gov/consumer/prescriptiondrugabuse/ operation-medicine-cabinet/or a DEA Authorized Collector Location at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e2s1.