News Feature | April 7, 2014

New System Allows Safe Disposal Of Unused Prescription Medications

By Liisa Vexler

Pharmaceutical company, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology company, Verde Environmental Technologies have partnered to create a solution for the responsible disposal of unused personal prescription medications, especially opioids. The two companies will begin production of Verde Medsaway disposable pouches for home medication, which will be available through physicians’ offices and clinics.

The patent-protected Medsaway pouch inactivates unnecessary and unused prescription medications, rendering them inactive by means of a chemical reaction created by carbon within the pouch. When the medicine to be disposed of is placed in the pouch and mixed with water, the activated carbon binds with medication’s active ingredients to make them physiologically inactive.

“As a world leader in the manufacture of controlled substances, Mallinckrodt is committed to supporting and implementing solutions to reduce ongoing issues of abuse and diversion,” said Mallinckrodt’s President and CEO, Mark Trudeau. “We are excited to add Medsaway to our broad range of programs that encourage and support the appropriate use and safe disposal of pain and other medications.”  

In a recent survey, 72 percent of patients with opioid prescriptions reported being left with unused medication, and 71 percent of those who reported having unused medication said they held on to it at home. These leftover supplies may be a factor that contributes to the recently increasing incidence of opioid poisonings.

The Medsaway product may help reduce the storage of unused prescription medication at home, since the pouch can be thrown out in the regular trash.

“In addition to helping combat the growing problems of abuse and diversion of drugs from the home, Medsaway offers an environmentally friendly and responsible way to dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals,” said Verde CEO, Andrew Korey. “We believe this is a real win for the pharmaceutical industry, the environment and, ultimately, the public.”