SEATTLE - Washington residents have access to 13 new, year-round safe medication disposal kiosks in select Walgreens locations throughout the state, thanks to a new partnership between Regence BlueShield 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.
“We need to start thinking about expired and unused medicines differently. Addiction can happen to anyone, so the old prescriptions sitting in our medicine cabinets at home are a dangerous risk to our family and friends,” says 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 for communities in Washington to remove that risk from their homes by safely disposing of their unused or expired medicines.”
The Washington kiosk expansion kicks off with a media event in Tacoma
- What: Washington Walgreens/Regence kiosk launch
- Who: Rep. Laurie Jinkins, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, Dr. Jim Polo, Regence Behavioral Health Medical Director, Nicolas Le Gallo (Dir. Pharmacy and Retail Operations) from Walgreens
- Where: Tacoma Walgreens location, 4315 Sixth Ave.
- When: 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 19
“The opioid epidemic is one of the largest public health crises we face today,” Rep. Jinkins says. “It will take all of us to address the opioid crisis. It is a fight I take up every day as a mother, as a lawmaker, as a public health professional and as a member of our community. I’m very excited to be here today and support Walgreens in their continued voluntary efforts for a safe, confidential prescription drug take back program.”
Regence-sponsored safe medication disposal kiosks are now available in the following communities at these Walgreens stores: Seattle (5409 15th Ave NW), Lynnwood (20725 Highway 99), Kirkland (12405 NE 85th St.), Burien (14656 Ambaum Blvd SW), Kent (25605 104th Ave. SE), Tacoma (15225 Pacific Ave S, and 4315 Sixth Ave), Lakewood (9505 Bridgeport Way SW), Vancouver (1905 SE 164th Ave), Mercer Island (7707 SE 27th St.) and Olympia (1510 Cooper Point Rd SW). Two more kiosks are scheduled to be installed in Seattle later this year.
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 Washington 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 BlueShield has been serving Washingtonians in select counties for over a century and now provides nearly 1.1 million 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/regenceblueshieldwa or twitter.com/regencewa
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.