As Earth Day approaches, it's important to remember our responsibility to take care of our planet. One way we can make a positive impact in our communities is by properly disposing of expired or unused medications! Improper disposal not only poses risks to patients but can also have devastating effects on the environment. In fact, a recent study found that over 230 active drugs and poisons were detected in water samples taken from streams across the United States (1).
As pharmacists, we have the power to promote patient safety and protect the environment by encouraging proper disposal of medications. With spring cleaning season upon us, it's the perfect time to run a campaign to encourage your patients to clean out their medication cabinets and dispose of any expired or unused medications. Not only will this help protect our planet, but it's also a great way to promote your pharmacy and enhance its reputation within your community.
Here are our tips on getting started:
Before starting your medication disposal campaign, it's important to ensure that your staff understands why it's important. Hold a meeting to educate your team on the risks of improper medication disposal and the benefits of safe disposal. By doing so, your staff will be better equipped to communicate the importance of the campaign to your patients.
Develop educational materials that explain the proper way to dispose of medications and how patients can participate in the campaign. These materials can be displayed in your pharmacy or shared online on your website or social media channels. Make sure that the materials are easy to read and understand, and that they are prominently displayed so that patients will see them.
You can also print smaller reminders to be placed inside prescription bags. By doing so, patients will be reminded each time they pick up their medications to bring back any old or unused medications for proper disposal. This is a simple but effective way to keep the message top-of-mind and encourage participation in your medication disposal program.
Offering incentives for patients to participate in your medication disposal program is a great way to motivate them to clean out their medicine cabinets. For example, you could run a spring cleaning special for the month of April, where on Tuesdays, patients can bring in a bag of their old, unused, or expired prescriptions and over the counter products back to the pharmacy to get a 10% discount off their purchase!
Social media is a powerful tool for reaching your patients and raising awareness about your medication disposal campaign. Write a blog post, newsletter, or create a simple social media post that explains the campaign and encourages patients to participate. Use hashtags such as #SafeMedDisposal or #SpringCleaning to reach a wider audience.
MedEssist is an all-in-one business and clinical platform for pharmacies that can make running a patient awareness campaign such as medication disposal a breeze. Use the Marketing Suite to generate customized countertop and storefront posters, and send out pre-built newsletter templates to your patients. By using MedEssist, you can easily spread the word about all the pharmacy services you offer and make a positive impact on your community.
By following these tips, you can launch a successful medication disposal campaign that not only benefits the environment but also helps your pharmacy build stronger relationships with your patients and community.
Want to get started with your campaign today? Message your pharmacy name in the yellow chat box to get started.