Pharmacy Drug Drop Touted As First In Nation
BLOOMING GROVE — A new prescription drug drop box, dedicated at Lords Valley Pharmacy on Route 739 Monday, appears to be the first government-sponsored drop-box in a privately owned business in the nation, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials. Federal, state, and county officials held a joint press conference run by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin office administers the prescription drug-box collections in Pike County. He obtained grants that paid for each of three collection boxes, including the one at the pharmacy.
Tonkin partnered with the Pike County Sheriff's department on Broad Street in Milford Borough and Eastern Pike Regional Police headquarters in Matamoras Borough for a collection box. Tonkin said, "The installation in Lords Valley...the first approved drug drop box in a pharmacy...is a positive step towards removing unused opiates from our community. Pike County has developed an outstanding partnership in an effort to make it safe and easy for people to return their unused opiates and medications at a pharmacy. We certainly appreciate the efforts of the Lords Valley Village Pharmacy to join together with us to show how a public-private partnership will aid in this effort."
Tonkin said that Pike County detectives would collect the drugs and give them to the National Guard or the PA Attorney General's office, which are charged with destroying the drugs. DDAP Programs Secretary Gary Tennis credited Pike County Commissioner Matt Osterberg for spearheading the concept of using a privately owned store, specifically a pharmacy as a drop site. State Representative Rosemary Brown was the first person to use the drug box immediately after the press conference and dedication. She said, "I am dropping off some prescription drugs that I no longer need and some pain killers no longer needed by my daughter who recently had surgery."
State Senator Lisa Baker expressed satisfaction with the creative application of a private-public partnership. As the newly installed chairperson on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, she said that her goal would be for Pennsylvania to provide innovative leadership in healthcare and prevention. State Representative Mike Peifer, whose district covers part of Wayne County, which has been plagued by overdose deaths, was appreciative of Pike's initiative because taking drugs off the street could end up saving lives.
Osterberg said, "This program will hopefully lead the commonwealth with a better, more practical format in reducing the diversion of prescription drugs into the wrong hands...and have a positive impact on fighting the addiction crisis that is facing our commonwealth... for complete story, get this week's issue.