For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Clinic Health System is making it easier for patients and community members to safely dispose of medication by adding collection kiosks at 14 Marshfield Clinic pharmacy locations across Wisconsin.
The kiosks are part of a partnership between Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan of Wisconsin to help curb prescription drug abuse.
Gov. Scott Walker has declared an opioid epidemic in Wisconsin, where in 2015 more people died from opioid overdoses than in vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Health Services.
Marshfield Clinic is the first health care system in central, northern, and western Wisconsin to offer year-round medication drop boxes.
“Marshfield Clinic as a prescribing provider in our region is taking responsibility for safe disposal of any unwanted or expired medications. This is a top priority to keep these drugs, if not fully used by our patients, out of the communities we serve,” said Sarah Rall, director of pharmacy for Marshfield Clinic. “Our providers receive continuing education regarding appropriate prescribing of opioids, and this is another step in curbing unwarranted use.”
The kiosks have the added advantage of preventing inappropriate disposal of medications, such as flushing them down the toilet, where drugs can pollute drinking water, or throwing them in the trash, where they can be found and used by others.
MedSafe kiosks can be found at Marshfield Clinic locations in Marshfield at the main campus and Central Avenue pharmacies; in Eau Claire at the main campus and Oakwood and Riverview centers; and Mosinee, Weston, Wausau, Merrill, Minocqua, Mercer, Ladysmith, Rice Lake, and Chippewa Falls centers.
The MedSafe stainless steel kiosks are designed for patients to insert their unused or expired medications. When the kiosk is filled, authorized persons will safely remove the contents for proper disposal.
“We have created a diverse platform of opportunities to help people, organizations, and communities battling prescription drug abuse and particularly opioid use disorders,” said Sue Wilhelm, director of pharmacy services at Security Health Plan. “This is a deeply rooted problem that will take collaboration, dedication, and persistence to overcome, but there is hope, and we’ll continue to find ways to help those we know and love who struggle with a prescription drug use disorder.”