Great Lakes Pharmaceutical Project
Voluntary Take-Back Workgroup
The Great Lakes Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship project is an EPA-funded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the issue of proper disposal of unwanted medicines and personal care products in the Great Lakes region. Active pharmaceutical compounds and personal care products (PPCPs) have been detected in the Great Lakes Watershed. There is also a rising incidence of prescription drug abuse and overdoses in the U.S. The goal of the project is to raise public awareness about the need to create permanent, secure, and convenient drug take back programs throughout the region in order to reduce the amount of waste containing persistent toxic substances in the Great Lakes, protect public health and curb the long-term costs of regulation, control and clean up.
This project is a partnership between several key stakeholders in response to public health and environmental concerns. Partners including the University of Wisconsin Extension, The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, The Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, The Midwest Product Stewardship Council, and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), are working to promote pharmaceutical stewardship throughout the Great Lakes region.
Since August 2012, PSI has been coordinating a workgroup focused on promoting voluntary pharmaceutical take-back efforts across the region. The workgroup has developed the following goals:
1. Determine the best methods for enhancing participation in existing take-back initiatives, focused on both on collection from households as well as institutions.
2. Engage with multiple stakeholder groups, including pharmacies (through state pharmacy boards, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the National Pharmacy Association etc.) and the pharmaceutical industry to increase producer-financed voluntary-take back initiatives.