Blue Cross Joins DEA, State Police And QVL Pharmacy For 2013 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Blue Cross plans across the country support drug safety for sixth time in three years
April 23, 2013
BATON ROUGE – From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Police, local QVL pharmacies and other Blue Cross plans across the country are joining the DEA in support of its 2013 National Prescription Drug Take-back Day. Darrell Langlois, vice president of compliance, privacy and fraud at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, said the company has enthusiastically supported the event for several years to increase public awareness about the dangers of keeping unused prescription drugs around the home.
“At Blue Cross, we are committed to the health of our members. We encourage all Louisianians to use prescription medicines responsibly and dispose of them safely,” Langlois said.
On April 27, state and local law enforcement agencies will staff collection events across the nation, including multiple drop-off locations throughout Louisiana. Anyone can visit the DEA website at www.justice.gov/dea/ to enter their ZIP code or address and find a nearby location.
In Baton Rouge, the public can bring their unused prescription medication to the State Police Troop A Headquarters, 17801 Highland Road. Elsewhere in Louisiana, they can visit their local state police troop headquarters. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“Prescription Drug Take-back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends via the home medicine cabinet,” said Louisiana State Police Troop A spokesman TFC Jared L. Sandifer. According to the Partnership at DrugFree.org, one in five teens say they have taken a prescription drug without having a prescription for it themselves.
“This program has been a success each time we’ve done it, and we are confident that hundreds of households throughout Louisiana are safer because of it,” said Sandifer. “With the help of our local partners, we anticipate a greater turnout than ever this year.”
The first Drug Take-back Day in 2010 resulted in more than 121 tons of pills collected nationwide. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in more than 2 million pounds of pills.
The day provides a venue for the public to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs safely and in an environmentally friendly way. Proper disposal, especially of narcotics and other drugs that are frequently abused, makes it much less likely for these drugs to fall into the wrong hands. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
QVL Pharmacy is participating this year for the first time, supporting the Troop A drop-off location at the corner of Highland and Perkins roads in Baton Rouge. The company’s marketing manager, Kristy Paull, said QVL is glad to be part of the National Drug Take-back Day event.
“We strongly support medication safety and using prescription drugs properly,” Paull said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for people to dispose of old medications safely and help keep them out of the reach of children and pets.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than one out of every four Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 2,000 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care. Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or visit our social media hub to connect with us via Facebook, Twitter and more.
Radio station 96.1 The River will host a radio remote event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the same location to provide entertainment and giveaways to those who come by to drop off their medications.
The drop-off site cannot accept the following items:
- health and beauty aids
- household hazardous waste (paint, aerosol cans, etc.)
- illegal substances and paraphernalia
- infectious waste
- medical devices and equipment, including needles or lancets
- mercury thermometers
- radioactive materials
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.