To increase the utility of the repository laws, health counselors, pharmacists and volunteers have deployed various strategies. Some clinics are incorporating repositories into their ongoing patient assistance programs. Other efforts focus on specific medications, such as high-cost cancer drugs to which patients often prove intolerant.
Education is also key: pharmacy counters could provide information about what consumers can do with unused medications. And as Englebert points out, tackling packaging issues up front—such as increased use of blister seals—might help satisfy security requirements.
Many experts and patient advocates remain optimistic about drug repositories. Sarah Barber, who is a senior policy analyst at the American Cancer Society, notes that the nationwide trend indicates a definite need. These programs, she thinks, “will become much easier and much more usable in the future.”
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Spreading the Health".