Ogdensburg, Gouverneur hospitals collecting leftover drugs for disposal
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 11:51 am

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg and Gouverneur Hospital will collect leftover pharmaceuticals from the public for free through July.

The drop-off kiosks will be available in the main lobby of both hospitals, Monday through Friday. Collection hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ogdensburg and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Gouverneur.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the six-month pilot program enables residents to drop off unwanted, expired, or leftover medications via collection kiosks and pre-paid mail-back envelopes for free, no questions asked.

The locked kiosks and mail-back envelopes, acquired through Stericycle, Inc. and managed by the hospital pharmacies, accept both over-the-counter and prescription drugs (schedule II-V).

The pilot program is informed by Product Stewardship Institute's How-to Guide for Drug Take-Back and an Advisory Committee consisting of public and private-sector experts.

These include state and local government, environmental groups, drug abuse prevention groups, Covanta -- a pioneer in drug destruction -- and others.

“As a pharmacist, I recognize the dire need for convenient, safe drug disposal options," Susan Bradley, director of pharmacy services at Gouverneur Hospital said in a prepared statement. "We are providing a critical service, and our hospital benefits from increased loyalty and appreciation among our patient community."

Prescription drug abuse is what PSI describes as "the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S." Nearly 70 percent of people who begin abusing prescription drugs get them from a family member or friend, often taking them from medicine cabinets.

"Drugs stored in the home can find their way into the hands of children or potential addicts," warned Greg Guimond, director of pharmacy at the CHMC said in a prepared statement. "Our hospital is proud to provide this new service to help our patients protect their loved ones."