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Pharmaceutical Waste Product Stewardship

The Pharmaceutical Waste Product Stewardship project is an EPA-funded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) project to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the issue of proper disposal of unwanted medicines and personal care products in the western Great Lakes states.

“Get the Meds Out” was a pharmaceutical waste mail-back program created by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The program was designed to help curb prescription pill drug abuse by getting the potentially harmful medications out of people’s homes and the program also addressed a second issue; removing any potentially negative environmental effects of drugs in the Great Lakes. A multitude of scientific research has determined the presence of trace amounts of pharmaceutical compounds in our water supply. We now know that these compounds can have a detrimental effect on aquatic life. The long-term human health effects remain unknown.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), whose mission is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States, hosts these Prescription Drug Take Back Days. The DEA collected and incinerated 2.4 tons of medication from Wisconsin on September 25, 2010.

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