Walgreens announced this week it will install kiosks in more than 500 stores in 39 states by the end of the year to allow customers to safely dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. The pharmacy chain will also make the opioid overdose antidote naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
Customers will be able to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, at no cost, the company said. Most of the kiosks will be located in stores open 24 hours a day. They will “offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else,” the company stated.
“By continuing to counsel our patients on the safe and effective use of medications and by making this opioid antidote more accessible, we’re going to be proactive in fixing this problem,” Richard Ashwood, President of Pharmacy and Retail Operations for Walgreens, said in a news release. “I am proud to say that Walgreens is leading the way in the fight against prescription drug abuse.”
The announcement, made at a Walgreens in Washington, D.C., was attended by Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, according to The Hill.
“Thanks to efforts, like Walgreens, and the efforts they are announcing today, people won’t have to wait to safely dispose of their drugs and obtain naloxone,” Botticelli said. “They can just go to their local drug store any time.”