; Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Supports The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nationwide Prescription “Drug Take-Back Day”
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Press Release

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Kansas City Supports The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nationwide Prescription “Drug Take-Back Day”

Event promotes awareness about prescription drug abuse and proper disposal

April 25, 2014

KANSAS CITY – In a nationwide effort to clear homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place this Saturday, April 26. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from prescription drug overdoses have reached epidemic levels in the United States. The national take-back effort seeks to raise awareness and reduce prescription drug abuse in our local communities by offering individuals and families a trouble-free and environmentally friendly way to rid their homes of unwanted prescriptions.

Ravi Govila, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Blue KC, said, “Supporting programs like National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is just one of the ways Blue KC shows its commitment to the health and wellness of the Kansas City community. I encourage everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets and take this opportunity to properly dispose of outdated prescriptions.”

Prescription medications are often found in home medicine cabinets, making it too easy for them to get in the wrong hands. In fact, according to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, more than four in ten teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug obtained it from their parents’ medicine cabinet. Easier access to prescription drugs has contributed to drug overdoses becoming the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Unfortunately, oftentimes when prescription drugs are disposed of, they are frequently flushed or thrown in the trash, which can pose additional safety risks to individuals and the environment.

This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Blue KC and the DEA encourage Kansas City area residents to help curb prescription drug abuse and misuse by dropping off their unwanted or expired prescriptions at close to 100 different locations across the Kansas City area. Take-Back Day participants will also help protect their local agriculture and water supply as all drugs collected at Take-Back sites will be disposed of properly by local law enforcement or DEA officials.

According to the CDC, nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs. Blue KC is committed to reducing the number of individuals who misuse, abuse or overdose from prescription drugs, while making sure members have access to safe and effective treatments.

For more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and to locate a collection site, Kansas City area residents can visit dea.gov and click on “Got Drugs?” Take-Back day is free and anonymous.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 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.