PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregonians have access to nine new, year-round safe medication disposal kiosks in select Walgreens locations throughout the state, thanks to a new partnership announced today between Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Walgreens.
Safe medication disposal kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies allow consumers to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances such as opioids, year-round at no cost. Kiosks are available during regular Walgreens pharmacy hours and offer a safe, convenient way to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.
“The old prescriptions sitting at home in our medicine cabinets expose our family and friends to the risk of harm or addiction,” said Dr. James Polo, Regence Behavioral Health Medical Director. “Regence is committed to being part of the solution to the opioid epidemic, by making it easy and free to dispose of unused or expired medicines through this Walgreens partnership.”
“Developing a responsible system of disposal for unneeded, unwanted, and expired drugs—especially prescription painkillers—has been one my key priorities as a legislator,” said Representative Sheri Malstrom (D-Beaverton), “I applaud community partners like Regence and Walgreens that are taking leadership roles in addressing the opioid crisis.”
The Oregon kiosk expansion kicked off with a June 4 media event at the Beaverton Walgreens location. Attendees included Dr. Polo, Rep. Malstrom, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, and Wendy Berg, Walgreen’s Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations.
Safe medication disposal kiosks are now available in the following communities at these Walgreens stores: Portland (940 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd.), Portland (4816 NW Bethany Blvd.), Beaverton (14600 SW Murray Scholls Dr.), Gresham (1950 NE Burnside Rd.), Tigard (13939 SW Pacific Hwy), Happy Valley (11995 SE Sunnyside Rd.), Salem (1992 Lancaster Dr. NE), Redmond (1450 S Highway 97) and Grants Pass (111 Union Ave).
The expansion is part of a joint effort by AmerisourceBergen, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Pfizer, Prime Therapeutics and Walgreens to combat the national opioid abuse crisis by increasing the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens drugstores around the country. When the expansion is complete, kiosks will be available in approximately 1,500 Walgreens stores nationwide.
“We are proud to work with organizations from throughout the health care community to make it even easier for people to dispose of their unwanted medications,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy operations, Walgreens. “The expansion of the program throughout Oregon is a great example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”
Safe medication disposal kiosks have collected more than 270 tons of unwanted medications since the program began in 2016. This an additional 115 tons since Walgreens announced its partnership last fall with leading health care organizations to expand the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been serving Oregonians since 1941 and now provides approximately 750,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.
Walgreens (walgreens.com), a provider of trusted care in communities since 1901, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,100 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com.