Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Joins National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 27, 2018 | Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Joins National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 27, 2018

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Partnerships with Walgreens and local law enforcement have collected more than 400 tons of unused, unwanted or expired medications to date

CHICAGO – The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and its member companies remain committed in their efforts to encourage all Americans to safely dispose of unused and expired prescription medicines as part of the 16th U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27, 2018.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies have helped to expand access to safe medication disposal kiosks and drop boxes through partnerships with Walgreens and local law enforcement. To date, there are close to 1,600 safe medication disposal kiosk and drop box locations throughout the country, and they have collected – and safely disposed of – more than 400 tons of unused, unwanted or expired medications at no cost. 

“We are proud to play an important role in removing unused and potentially dangerous prescription drugs from medicine cabinets across the country,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of BCBSA. “As a national association representing more than 106 million members in all 50 states, we have a responsibility to keep our communities healthy and safe; one way we can do that is to encourage our members and all Americans to safely dispose of unused medications year-round and during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.” 

The safe medication disposal programs were created to help in the ease and convenience of year-round medication disposal– including opioids and other controlled substances – while helping to reduce the misuse of medications and decrease the rise in overdose deaths. 

While opioid use disorder continues to impact thousands of Americans, including more than 241,000 BCBS members across the nation, progress has been made to reduce the dose and duration of opioid use.  According to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield Health of America Report  titled “The Opioid Epidemic in America: An Update,” opioid prescriptions filled by BCBS members dropped by 29 percent in 2017 compared to 2013, and BCBS members who filled at least one opioid prescription in a year decreased by 25 percent. 

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of misuse prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The last Take-Back Day in April 2018 brought in almost one million pounds (474.5 tons) of unused or expired prescription medications, which brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

For additional information regarding how BCBSA is addressing drug misuse, please visit www.bcbs.com. To participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, please visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/ to find a drop-off location closest to you.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

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 health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and follow us on Twitter.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.