Tulsa County Drug Recycling Program Provides Medicine To Those In Need

Friday, July 13th 2012, 8:28 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A little known Tulsa pharmacy hit a $10-million milestone recently.

That's the value of drugs they've given away that would otherwise have been thrown away.

Tulsa County honored the volunteers responsible for running a shoe-string program that's showing big results.

The Tulsa County Drug Recycling Program has handled $10 million worth of medicine.

Catherine Collett, a Tulsa County pharmacist, said, "The people who we're serving are the people who wouldn't be able to afford the medicine, anyway, so we're not taking away any business from the pharmacies. These are people who are going to get the medicine from us or they're not going to get it, at all."

The Drug Recycling Program is supplied with what's left over at long term care facilities.

Learn more about the Drug Recycling Program

The drugs are processed by the Tulsa County Pharmacy and then given to low income people without insurance coverage.

The medication that's being reused would otherwise be thrown out, but the program is limited to drugs that never leave the control of a medical professional.

Leftover drugs from individuals still must be incinerated, but that also keeps them out of the wrong hands.

"We're taking them out of the cabinets of Oklahomans who don't need them and we're not allowing kids to get a hold of them and we're not flushing them, so we're being environmentally sound, said Darrell Weaver, of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD).

The drug recycling program run by the county costs taxpayers very little. The County says it takes $6,000 to process the $10 million in drugs they've distributed.

"We get it and we're able to pass it along to someone who needs it and appreciates it," said Collett.

There are a number of different programs to dispose of medication, but this is the only one where it's re-used.

For more information visit the Tulsa County Medical Society web site.