New Film Offers Tips on Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medications

Alliance Kicks Off Campaign during National Poison Prevention Week

Washington, D.C., March 21, 2016 – When we take medications, we know it’s important to diligently read the labels and store them up and away, out of the reach of kids. But what do we do if our medicine cabinet is full of expired drugs or medications that we no longer want?

Recognizing that an estimated 40 percent of sold medications end up unused, and that safe medication disposal is often overlooked, the Alliance for Aging Research has launched a new “pocket film” that offers consumers a simple step-by-step guide on safe disposal. This free resource covers disposal of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and is available for online viewing, download, or on DVD.

“Safely disposing of your medications protects your health, the environment, and loved ones in your life,” says Alliance Vice President of Health Programs Lindsay Clarke. “This expert-reviewed short film gives a simple, brief introduction to this sometimes complex topic. We encourage health professionals, patient education providers, community health departments, and all organizations focused on medication safety to use it as a resource to educate patients and consumers.”

Film topics include:

  • How to dispose of medications at home in three simple steps
  • Why certain medications must be flushed
  • Tips on where to dispose of medications outside the home, such as through take-back programs
  • How to keep personal information safe

This film represents the third in a series of films focused on educating consumers on how to safely choose, take, store, and dispose of medications. This film was produced in collaboration with the CHPA Educational Foundation. A press kit is also available here.

The Alliance has also launched a campaign during National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26) to raise awareness about medication safety. It is highlighted by a Twitter chat on March 23 at 1 p.m. ET on how to safely choose, take, store, and dispose of medications in partnership with the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the CHPA Educational Foundation, and the National Council on Patient Information and Education. The chat can be followed using the hashtag #SafeMedsChat; more information can be found here.

The Alliance offers a complete library of short, animated “pocket films” on a wide range of health conditions and topics from sepsis to atrial fibrillation, many with an emphasis on older adults.

For more information, please contact Noel Lloyd, communications manager, at 202.370.7852 or through email.

About the Alliance for Aging Research
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application in order to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance was founded in 1986 in Washington, D.C., and has since become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers. Visit for more information.