by Christine Horton, Verde Technologies Chief Commercial Officer
The Deterra team was in Atlanta the first week of April for the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, an event that attracted experts and advocates in the area of prescription drug abuse prevention. It was heartening to be part of this impressive group of individuals and organizations in action, all working to tackle the prescription drug abuse epidemic from every angle. We had so many thoughtful, productive conversations about the problem and how the Deterra Drug Deactivation System addresses the issue of drug disposal safely and efficiently.
We also heard loud and clear from the experts that takeback programs are not ideal solutions, for many reasons. For example:
- Data presented from two independent studies (Wake Forest and East Tennessee University) showed a 1 percent and 5 percent participation within participating communities. Leaving 95 to 99 percent of the available drugs for abuse, misuse and diversion still in the communities.
- Joe Rannazzisi, Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, shared data showing a dramatic increase in pharmacy robberies since takeback boxes have been installed in stores, placing the public and employees at risk.
- The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy acknowledged during its presentation of “The Opioid Abuse Prevention Plan 2.0” that drug deactivation technologies, like Deterra, are viable options.
While at the Summit, we announced that the Deterra Drug Deactivation System is now available directly to consumers at http://www.deterra-cart.com. We talked with other Summit attendees about the importance of starting the fight against prescription drug abuse right in our own homes, where leftover prescription drugs sit on shelves or in medicine cabinets, with easy access to children, adolescents and visitors. Providing Deterra directly to consumers puts the power to reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse directly in the hands of parents, grandparents and communities across the country, by providing a way to safely remove unused prescription medications, including opioids, antibiotics, transdermal patches and other medications, from the home.
We also had the chance to continue spreading the word about our partnership program, which provides a cost-effective, environmentally and socially responsible way to safely and easily deactivate and dispose of unused prescription medications through the Deterra System for companies and advocacy groups, such as manufacturers, health insurers, pharmacies, hospitals and surgery centers, community organizations and police departments.
Finally, the Deterra team had the chance to attend a number of great sessions during the Summit, including one that featured Michael Botticelli, director of the White House of National Drug Control Policy, who acknowledged that proper drug disposal is a key area for the reduction of prescription drug abuse.
We look forward to continuing these conversations with leaders in the area of prescription drug abuse prevention.