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Students, Faculty from School of Pharmacy Participate in Drug Take-Back Day

Students and faculty from the School of Pharmacy at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recent National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was designed to allow the general public to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that had expired, had gone unused, or were no longer wanted. Drug Take-Back Day also offered a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs.

Faculty from the School of Pharmacy, including Kimberly Burns, R.Ph., J.D.; Seher Khan, Ph.D.; and Abbey Powers, Pharm.D.; worked along with students at the collection sites: Erie City Hall, the Harborcreek Township Municipal Building, and the Millcreek Township Municipal Building.

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The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day offers the public a free, safe and convenient means of disposing of expired, unused and unwanted medications.

Several hundred pounds of medications were collected. There was no charge to those who disposed of them during the event.

For the students and faculty, the event also was an opportunity to educate the public on the proper disposal of unused medications and the potential for their abuse. In addition, the LECOM volunteers inspected the medications at the collection sites to ensure they could be accepted.

Prescription medications go unused for a variety of reasons, including changes in the patient’s health and adverse reactions to the medication, Dr. Burns said. Medicines that languish in home cabinets indefinitely are susceptible to abuse by family members and friends, according to the DEA. Prescription drug abuse rates are also “alarmingly high,” as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses, the DEA noted.

“The proper disposal of medications is a critical health issue,” Dr. Burns said. “It’s not safe to put them in the trash, because they could harm the environment or fall into the wrong hands and be abused or cause an accidental poisoning. Flushing them down the toilet, which many people choose to do, is not an environmentally conscious means of disposal. That’s why an effort like Drug Take-Back Day is so important.”

In addition to National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, students and faculty from the LECOM School of Pharmacy participated in numerous other events in recognition of October as American Pharmacists Month. Through health and safety fairs and other events, students and faculty emphasized the importance of medication adherence and other related issues.

More about the LECOM School of Pharmacy

The vision of the LECOM School of Pharmacy is to be a nationally recognized leader in the evolution of pharmacy practice through excellence in education, commitment to community health and wellness, and innovative research. The School of Pharmacy seeks to train and educate pharmacy professionals who are committed to providing ethical and empathetic patient-centered care. By integrating the sciences with critical thinking and effective communication skills, the School of Pharmacy will prepare future pharmacists to be strong patient advocates and leaders in their communities, in professional associations and in research activities.

Consistent with LECOM’s commitment to innovative, student-centered and affordable degree programs, the School of Pharmacy offers two distinct learning pathways. LECOM’s campus in Erie, Pa., offers one of the few accelerated, three-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) programs in the country, while the Bradenton, Fla., campus offers a more traditional four-year pathway. Both curricula offer the same spectrum of didactic courses, credit hours and experiential education opportunities.