2018 New York Drug Take-Back Pilot Program

Medication Disposal Kiosks, top left: Rochester General Hospital; top right: Basset Medical Center; bottom left: Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center; bottom right: Gouverneur Hospital

Starting in February 2018, five hospitals serving rural New York State began collecting leftover pharmaceuticals from the public free of charge through July 2018. Designed and implemented by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and the New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC), this pilot drug take-back program offers residents in Delaware, Monroe, Otsego, and St. Lawrence counties convenient locations to dispose of medications - one part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce the public health and environmental impacts of unused drug

Two pilot hospitals in St. Lawrence County, which ranked #13 among the top 20 counties in New York for opioid prescribing (#1 being highest prescription rates). The number of opioid prescriptions decreased between 2014 and 2016 in almost every New York county except St. Lawrence and Essex, which saw increases.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the six-month pilot program enables residents to drop off unwanted, expired, or leftover medications via collection kiosks and pre-paid mail-back envelopes for free, no questions asked. The locked kiosks and mail-back envelopes, acquired through Stericycle, Inc. and managed by the hospital pharmacies, accept both over-the-counter and prescription drugs (schedule II-V). The pilot program is informed by PSI's How-to Guide for Drug Take-Back and an Advisory Committee consisting of public and private-sector experts. These include state and local government, environmental groups, drug abuse prevention groups, Covanta -- a pioneer in drug destruction -- and others.


On May 7, 2018, PSI and NYPSC released a free online Toolkit that medical professionals nationwide can use to learn about safe drug disposal and educate their patients about how to properly remove leftover drugs from their homes. The hospitals participating in this pilot informed the development of these materials and are the first to distribute them to doctors and patients.
The project will conclude with a free national webinar to share results and lessons learned.


Participating hospitals include:

Bassett Medical Center
One Atwell Road
Cooperstown, NY, 13326
(607) 547-6528

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center
214 King Street
Ogdensburg, NY,
(315) 393-3600

Gouverneur Hospital

77 W Barney St.
Gouverneur, NY, 13642
(315) 287-1000

O'Connor Hospital

460 Andes Road
Delhi, NY, 13753
(607) 746-0365

Rochester General Hospital

1425 Portland Ave.
Rochester, NY, 1462
(585) 922-5382


Additional Information





This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Utilities Programs.

The Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and provider. Persons with disabilities who require alternatively formatted materials to ensure effective communication should contact Amanda Nicholson at amanda@productstewardship.us or (617) 236-4833. For TTY, please dial 711 or 800-439-2370; MassRelay.