Published June 11, 2020
The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has partnered with FeedMore Western New York to distribute drug disposal pouches to senior citizens in the community.
The initiative is spearheaded by Anna Augostini, PharmD ’21, Student Pharmacist Association of Western New York (SPAWNY) Community Outreach Chair.
Augostini has worked with SPAWNY liaisons to distribute the Deterra Drug Deactivation Systems over the past year at events such as wellness clinics and DEA Drug Take Back Day. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she collaborated with Bette Dehr, project coordinator at It Takes A Community Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition (ITAC), and Meals on Wheels Volunteer, to expand distribution to improve the health and safety of the aging WNY community.
“During this time of isolation and social distancing, it is difficult for community members to safely dispose of their medicine,” Augostini said. “Town Halls are closed to the public. The annual DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day was postponed. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.”
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has provided UB SPPS with Deterra Drug Deactivation Systems for the WNY community since 2016, as part of the company’s initiative to help combat the abuse of prescription pain medications, which is considered one of the nation’s top public health threats.
The pouches will be included in Erie County Senior Service bags, which also contain face masks and hand sanitizer. The bags will be given to seniors with their meal deliveries in East Aurora, Elma, South Wales, and West Falls.
FeedMore WNY provides nutritious food and support throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties through its more than 300 agencies and programs, including Meals on Wheels.