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This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

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Abstract/ Summary

The Safe Medicine Disposal for ME (SMDME) program is a statewide model for the disposal of unused household medications using a mail-back return envelope system. Established through state legislation and implemented in 2007 with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Program’s Aging Initiative, the program is authorized to handle both controlled and non-controlled medications This handbook describes the program components, as well as the outcomes and lessons learned from Phases I & II of the program. The handbook is designed as a guide to organizations that are implementing similar programs in other states. Maine, which has a combination of rural regions and urban centers, serves as an ideal state in which to test distribution and collection methods, combined with cost containment. The pilot program began with 11 participating pharmacies, and has since expanded to include approximately 150 pharmacies and health and human services agencies in all 16 counties of Maine. The program has broadened from the original target audience of older adults and caregivers to include adults of all ages. The program currently maintains a waiting list of interested community-based distribution sites. The mail-back program, during its first two phases of operation, has disposed of more than 2,300 lbs of drugs, representing 3,926 envelopes. Pharmacist and pharmacy tech volunteers have cataloged and inventoried those envelopes through eight cataloging events during the first two phases of the program. The volume was so great that the inventory method was changed to a 20% sampling process during the second year of operation.


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)



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