Safely Dispose of Unneeded Medications

Prescription narcotic painkillers cause more deaths than all other drugs. An average of 70 percent of nonmedical prescription pain reliever users obtain medication from family or friends ... often without their knowledge. Please help prevent narcotic addiction and abuse by educating patients on how to safely dispose of their leftover and expired medications. Patients can check with their local police departments and pharmacies to find a drug disposal location near them. If they live in Wisconsin, they may also go to doseofrealitywi.gov to find information, support and find a medication disposal site.

Donating unused medications to others?

Have patients ever asked what to do with leftover, unexpired medications that are still sealed in tamper-evident packaging? The Wisconsin Department of Health Services established a program called the Drug Repository program to allow these medications to be used by others.

What is the Drug Repository program?

Through this program, people may donate unused medications to a participating pharmacy or medical facility. Those items may be dispensed to individuals that do not have insurance or are under insured. Pharmacies that participate in this program are listed at wisconsin.gov/guide/cdrparticips.pdf.

Is there a charge to obtain donated medications?

Pharmacies may charge a fee for the counseling, preparation and documentation they are required to do when dispensing donated medications (up to $15).

How do I find out what medications are available?

You may contact the participating pharmacy directly to find out what medications are available.

Where can I learn more about this program?

Go to dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/cancer-drugrepo.htm.

What are the donation requirements?

  1. Must be accompanied by a completed drug repository donor form that is signed by the donor or that person's authorized representative.
  2. The drug is not adulterated or misbranded (i.e., the medication has not been stored improperly where it is no longer safe to use).
  3. The drug will not expire until at least 90 days after the donation is made.
  4. The drug is in its original, unopened tamper-evident packaging.