Do we have to throw them out?
October 4, 2008 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Can anything be done with extra pharmaceuticals?

A friend recently finished a medical procedure, with extra pills, sealed and dated. We would like to get the pills to someone without medical insurance because they are outrageously expensive.

The legal ramifications are obvious, so we can't send them to you. What we want to know is, will the medical clinic dispose of them if we take them to the clinic? Does anyone handle extra pharmaceuticals? Is throwing thousands of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals in the garbage the only option?

We are near New York City, if it matters.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The head nurse on the neurology floor (16) of Harlem Hospital collects medicines like this, and every year takes them back to rural Nigeria where he is from and distributes them to local doctors and patients. This is a legal gray area but people get helped.

If you take them back to a pharmacy or most clinics they will be destroyed, for liability reasons. It would be too easy for someone to tamper with them, and this possibility ruins it for everyone.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:42 PM on October 4, 2008

New York State does some sort of prescription recycling program. A quick google search didn't turn up anything but I had my family in NY turn in a bunch of my old Vicodin about a month ago.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:44 PM on October 4, 2008

Good for you to want to find good homes for them. Whatever you do, DON'T flush them down the toilet. There was a recent news article about tests that found all sorts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
posted by exphysicist345 at 10:20 PM on October 4, 2008

Interesting, I had just read about the Starfish Project in a magazine. You'll have to see what meds they accept on their site.
posted by cabingirl at 11:01 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

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