Attorney General Fox Awards $26,000 in Grants to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

This afternoon in Missoula, Attorney General Tim Fox awarded 13 Montana pharmacies grants of $2,000 each for the implementation or continuation of prescription drug take-back programs through the Montana Pharmacy Safe Medication Disposal Initiative. This initiative was announced July 30 and is meant to increase prescription drug take-back locations at pharmacies throughout Montana, making it easier for consumers to dispose of these dangerous substances safely and responsibly.

The awardees are:
• Bitterroot Drug in Hamilton
• Granite Pharmacy in Missoula
• Florence Pharmacy in Florence
• Plains Drug in Plains
• The Clinical Pharmacy in Kalispell
• Benton Pharmacy in Fort Benton
• Health Service Pharmacy at the University of Montana’s Curry Health Center in Missoula
• Alpine Apothecary in Whitefish
• St. James Healthcare Hospital Pharmacy in Butte
• Family Pharmacy in Stevensville
• Lolo Drug in Lolo
• The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Tribal Health Department with locations in St. Ignatius and Polson

“These thirteen pharmacies are pioneers, taking on this public service because they feel prescription drug disposal programs are a valuable public safety tool, and because implementing one in each of their locations is the right thing to do,” Attorney General Fox said. “We’re pleased to be able to help them in these efforts, and we encourage more Montana pharmacies to make disposal of prescription drugs convenient for their customers.”

The funding can be used to pay for the purchase of a permanent collection box, signage, destruction of collected materials, advertising of the program, or any other medication disposal related expense.

Grant recipients will also document and submit data about their individual programs to the Attorney General’s Office on a quarterly basis. Examples of data that will be collected 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.

“These grant recipients are going to be doing extremely important work for all of us in the coming months,” Attorney General Fox added. “While we hope the immediate effects of their medication take-back programs are seen directly in their communities – with fewer overdoses, instances of diversion, and reduced medication sharing – these pharmacies are also setting a new standard that I hope their colleagues will soon follow. I also believe expanding the availability and visibility of prescription drug take-back boxes will help to normalize the proper disposal of medication among the public, which will keep all of us safer and healthier.”