Rx for Action
- Marsh Pharmacy announces Spring 2014 Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet event
- Illinois Water Resources Center Annual Small Grant: Student Research Awards Application Deadline: 14 March 2014
- Wisconsin Drug Disposal Bill passes the Senate
- EPA requests input on hazardous waste management in the retail sector
- All aboard for a week-long teacher research cruise on Lake Erie
- IISG plants outreach seeds at Indiana veterinary conference
- What's new in personal care product legislation?
- University of Wisconsin Extension launches new resources for reducing pharmaceutical waste
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From Marsh Pharmacy:
Marsh and MainStreet Pharmacies will be collecting and qualifying unwanted medications for FREE disposal on:
Friday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Check www.marsh.net for the location of all Marsh and MainStreet Market Pharmacies.
What kinds of medicine can I bring?
- Pills, capsules and liquids (no aerosols, inhalers, Nitroglycerin or alcohol containing products).
- Medicine must be in original container with original label intact.
- Medicines that have the words ''toxic'', ''corrosive", ''reactive'', ''ignitable'', ''flammable'' or ''poison'' will not be accepted.
- Only one type of medication can be in a single container, no mixtures.
- No pill organizers will be accepted.
- No controlled or illegal substances (check with your regular pharmacist if you're not sure whether a medicine is controlled).
- Sharps collected only in resealable, hard plastic containers.
This program is for individuals only. Nothing will be accepted from health centers, clinics, doctor's offices, or other organizations. Pharmacist's decision to accept or reject any medication or container is final.
For more information, call 317-594-2408.
Event partners are: Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Poison Center, NuGenesis Environmental Services, Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care, Inc., Tri-State Distribution
February 26, 2014 Illinois Water Resources Center Annual Small Grant: Student Research Awards Application Deadline: 14 March 2014
The Illinois Water Resources Center, located at the University of Illinois, is now accepting applications for our Annual Small Grants: Student Research Awards program. This year we are soliciting graduate and undergraduate student projects that address significant challenges in Illinois water resources. Graduate students may request up to $10,000 and undergraduates up to $2,000. Applications must be submitted by faculty members or professionals affiliated with 4-year institutions, state or local government agencies, or non-profits in Illinois on behalf of their students. The full RFP is available on our website.
Applications are due to Corrie Layfield (email@example.com) by 4pm on Friday, March 14, 2014. The project period is May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Please contact Lisa Merrifield (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
February 25, 2014 Wisconsin Drug Disposal Bill passes the Senate
controlled substances to be legally brought to take-back programs by individuals other than the person for whom they were prescribed. If signed by the Governor, the new law will take effect in July 2015, pending new regulations on disposal of controlled substances expected to be released by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
February 24, 2014 EPA requests input on hazardous waste management in the retail sector
EPA's pre-publication version of the Retailer "Notice of Data Availability" (NODA):
More information on the retail sector NODA:
The request for information from the retail sector is separate from the ongoing EPA rulemaking on pharmaceutical hazardous waste from the health care sector.
February 21, 2014 All aboard for a week-long teacher research cruise on Lake Erie
Teachers and non-formal educators can trade in their whiteboards and textbooks for life vests and sampling equipment this summer during a week-long workshop aboard the EPA research vessel Lake Guardian. The Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop, held from July 7-13, will give teachers grades 4-12 a unique opportunity to work alongside scientists as they conduct field research across Lake Erie. Applications for the 15 available spaces will be accepted until March 7.
The annual research cruise takes place on a different Great Lake every year, giving educators from a variety of disciplines an opportunity to learn first-hand about the unique ecology of each lake as well as how people's actions are affecting the region. This year, participants will monitor water quality, study the microscopic species at the bottom of the Lake Erie food web, and learn about the latest research on plastic pollution.
"The cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience what it's like to be a Great Lakes scientist." said Kristin TePas, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant community outreach specialist and workshop coordinator. "Each year brings an amazing group of educators, and it is inspiring to see how they incorporate what they've learned into the classroom."
Educators will also work together to examine classroom activities that expand students' understanding of the Great Lakes and identify new ways to incorporate hands-on research into their classroom. Sea Grant specialists onboard will provide educational resources and support. And after the cruise, specialists will be available to help teachers implement new activities based on their experiences.
Participants will receive a $500 stipend at the end of the week-long cruise to help cover any travel expenses to and from the launch point in Cleveland, OH. For more information on the workshop and to apply, visit www.paseagrant.org/projects/rv-lake-guardian-workshop/.
The annual Shipboard and Shoreline Science Workshop is hosted by the Center for Great Lakes Literacy and coordinated by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office. Funding comes from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
February 7, 2014 IISG plants outreach seeds at Indiana veterinary conference
"It's becoming a rarity for me to chat with a veterinarian who doesn't know about the environmental impacts of improper medicine disposal. So the next step for IISG is to make sure that students are also aware of the need for proper storage and disposal."
Many of the students were unfamiliar with the topic or the disposal options available in their communities. Laura introduced them to simple steps for managing pharmaceuticals in clinics and talked about how they can help spread the word about proper disposal to their future clients.
The event is one of several Laura has attended in the last few years to share resources and speak directly with veterinarians about pharmaceutical stewardship. It is all part of a partnership between IISG and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Since they joined forces in 2011, IISG and AVMA have developed brochures, public service announcements, and other materials for veterinaries to share with their clients.
Many of these materials have been tailored to small animal veterinarians–those who work with dogs, cats, and other household pets. Now, though, IISG and AVMA are turning their sights towards livestock and the vets who care for them. Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals used to treat livestock have been found in waterways across the country. In fact, animal agriculture is often the primary contributor of pharmaceutical pollution in rural areas, and some of these chemicals have been linked to impaired development and reproduction in aquatic wildlife.
The transition to livestock pharmaceuticals took a big step forward during the conference thanks to an opportune meeting with Dan Walsh, a distance learning instructor at the . Laura and Dan traded resources that will help both programs strengthen their efforts to educate future vets and vet techs about the importance of proper medicine storage, use, and disposal.
February 5, 2014 What's new in personal care product legislation?
Last week, we showcased a few unwanted medicine laws passed last year and gave you a peek into what's on deck for this year. Along with these pharmaceutical bills, the federal government and a handful of states will also be considering new rules for the development, sale, and oversight of personal care products.
For example, Michigan lawmakers introduced a bill this fall that would amend the state Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act to include on ban on the sale of personal care products that contain plastic particles. The ban would take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The amendment would also prohibit Michigan manufacturers from adding plastic particles to any personal care product. HB4994 is awaiting a vote in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Here are some additional bills we are watching:
Federal: SB1009 and SB696 would put in place new safety standards and more rigorous testing requirements for chemicals like the ones found in some personal care products. The bills would modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
HB1385 would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow the federal health agency to regulate cosmetics.
Massachusetts: H1990 would require manufacturers to disclose ingredients known to be carcinogenic or cause developmental problems and make safety and testing data public.
H2062 would require cosmetic manufacturers to report the use of any unsafe chemicals to the state public health department.
Minnesota: SB466 and HF605 would require manufacturers of children's products to disclose the use of harmful chemicals, amend the criteria for priority chemicals, and authorize the Pollution Control Agency to prohibit the sale of potentially harmful products.
SF1166 would ban the sale of products containing triclosan and similar antibacterial compounds.
New York: AB4765 would mirror the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 and establish an authoritative body charged with identifying potentially cancerous or reproductively-toxic chemicals.
North Carolina: H848 would authorize a study on the impact of toxic chemicals on child health.
Vermont: H0308 would authorize the state Board of Health to investigate products containing cancer-causing or reproductively-toxic chemicals.
February 3, 2014 University of Wisconsin Extension launches new resources for reducing pharmaceutical waste
The University of Wisconsin Extension has assembled a new resource, "Pharmaceuticals," on its website. Check it out at:
The resource includes:
the most comprehensive list of Wisconsin's medicine collection sites
tools and suggestions for reducing pharmaceutical waste
resources for those collecting household medications
a summary of state and regional efforts to keep pharmaceuticals out of the Great Lakes
publications about pharmaceutical waste
Source: UW Extension
January 29, 2014 What's new in unwanted medicine legislation?
There has been some movement in state houses throughout the country since our last update on pharmaceutical legislation. Most of the bills we showcased last year are still slated for committee hearings. But one was signed into law and some new legislation has been put forward that would impact the long-term management of these chemicals. Here's a quick look at the legislative landscape in the New Year. And check back here next week to learn where things stand in personal care product legislation.
Last summer, lawmakers in Maine approved amendments to the state's Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal Program removing some of the restrictions on state funding for collection programs. Prior to this change, the state could only provide financial support to mail-back programs, leaving local law enforcement agencies to cover the full costs of over 50 drop box programs across the state. The amended law does not guarantee funding, but it does ensure that all programs are eligible to receive state dollars. The Maine Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force recommended the amendments in hopes that it will reduce the cost of proper disposal in a state that collects tens of thousands of pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals each year.
In Delaware, lawmakers introduced and approved changes to the state's hospice regulations. Signed into law on July 3, 2013, the changes require the state health department to establish and implement consistent protocols for safely disposing of pharmaceuticals left after the death of discharge of an in-home patient. The law went into effect earlier this month.
A bill that would allow Wisconsin cities and counties to establish drug disposal programs is also quickly making its way through the system. First introduced last October, AB 448 would also allow non-governmental groups to establish collection programs as long as they receive authorization from the federal Department of Justice. Cities and counties would be allowed to contract with DOJ-approved organizations to manage local collection programs. AB 448 was approved by the Wisconsin Assembly last week and is awaiting review in the Senate Health and Human Services committee.
Here are some additional pharmaceutical bills we are watching:
Federal: SB1089 would require the Department of Defense and the Attorney General to create a collection program for members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their dependents.
Massachusetts: S399 would regulate the discharge of pharmaceutical and personal care product-laden wastewater into drinking water supplies.
H825 would allow collection centers for hazardous household products to accept prescription medication.
H1977 would establish a state mail-back program.
H2033 would remove existing restrictions on patients' ability to drop-off medications at licensed pharmacies for disposal.
H2081 would require the state agency in charge of licensing pharmacies to establish a cancer drug collection program that health care facilities could participate in.
New York: A00228 would allow pharmacies to collect pharmaceuticals.
A01609 would require the state environmental agency to post guidelines for holding a one-day collection event on their website.
A05610 would require drug manufacturers to establish collection programs and would limit the disposal of pharmaceuticals to manufacturer-led programs only.
Pennsylvania: HB1194 would require pharmaceutical retailers to collect pharmaceuticals for proper disposal.
West Virginia: HB2113 would require the state health agency to establish a two-year pilot mail-back program.
January 27, 2014 Great Lakes hold great potential for curing diseases
The IISG-funded study unearthed more than 600 strains of freshwater actinomycete bacteria, making it one of the largest "libraries" of its kind in the world. Murphy–with help from UIC researchers Scott Franzblau, Joanna Burdette, and Lijun Rong–is still testing whether these strains can be used to create new treatments for tuberculosis and other life-threatening diseases. But their initial results suggest that at least a handful of freshwater bacteria could lead to new cures.
A microbe's medicinal power lies in the small compounds they make to defend themselves, which can destroy cell walls, prevent DNA from replicating like it should, and more. Current treatments for many diseases are built around the chemical defenses used by land-based cousins of the bacteria Murphy has collected. But some treatments, like the ones for tuberculosis, require patients to be on a complex cocktail of antibiotics for months at a time. Worse still, a growing number of diseases are now resistant to standard drugs. The hope is that some of the freshwater bacteria in Murphy's library might create molecules that dangerous pathogens have yet to evolve defenses against.
"Researchers have been operating on the assumption that bacteria in the lake are nearly identical to what are found on the land," said Murphy. "But we think these freshwater strains are likely to produce new molecules that target diseases in different ways."
Murphy and his team will spend the next few months scrutinizing chemical compounds from 10 actinomycete strains already showing disease-fighting potential and comparing them against known antibiotics, anti-virals, and anti-cancer agents. At the same time, they will keep working through their bacterial library hoping to find even more molecules with drug-like potency.
Just as important as finding new molecules is learning more about the relationship between a microbe's chemical properties and where it lives. This is where Murphy's library of strains really comes in. Its size and diversity will help reveal both whether aquatic actinomycete bacteria are significantly different than their land-based counterparts and if strains found in different lakes use unique chemical defenses.
"One of the biggest barriers in the discovery of new drugs is knowing where to look," said Murphy. "Knowing where bacteria populations are similar and where they are different helps us figure out exactly where to sample when looking for new drugs."
Because of his collection, Murphy has already discovered that the makeup of actinomycete communities in Lake Huron varies both by location and depth, a diversity that makes the lake a potentially important site in the hunt for new cures.
Author: Anjanette Riley