Attorney General Fox Reminds Pharmacies of Rx Drug Disposal Program Grant Availability

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox encourages all Montana pharmacies to apply to receive one of ten grants of $2,000 each through the Montana Pharmacy Safe Medication Disposal Initiative by the deadline of this Thursday, August 27. This initiative was announced July 30 and is meant to increase prescription drug take-back locations at pharmacies throughout Montana.

“Right now, most prescription drug disposal sites in the state are at law enforcement agencies like the sheriff’s office, police department, or highway patrol building,” Attorney General Fox said. “While these take-back programs are vital, I think Montanans will appreciate the ease of returning unused and unwanted medications to their local pharmacy; a place they’re likely to be visiting anyway. That’s why I’m encouraging pharmacies across the state to take advantage of the $20,000 in grant funding my office has dedicated for this program to become a prescription drug disposal location. More prescription drop boxes in pharmacies will make it easier for consumers to dispose of these dangerous substances safely and responsibly.”

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/pharmacyApplications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on August 27; grant recipients will be selected and announced next month.

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.

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 critical 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.”