Iowa repository could be a model for drug donation program in Minnesota

There is a push in Minnesota to launch a drug donation program similar to one in Iowa. A repository located near a suburb of Des Moines, IA, which has been operating for 10 years, collects unused prescription drugs, excluding controlled substances and narcotics. The repository is on track to distribute more than $8 million worth of free medication to patients this year. Medications are collected from community nursing homes and donated to other patients at no cost. Jon-Michael Rosmann, CEO of Iowa-based SafeNetRX, says: "These are all medications that are in sealed, tamper-evident packaging." The repository was established to deal with significant medication waste. Rosmann asserts, "In states where they do not have a drug donation program, we have heard of nursing homes where medications are actually wheeled into a bathroom stall and simply flushed down the toilet." At SafeNetRX, donated medicines are sorted on tables, and a pharmacist will come through and inspect every tablet. The medicine then goes into small bins to be distributed to patients. Pharmacies pay nothing to participate; they can simply go online to place an order that is filled by a pharmacist at the repository. Rosmann says, "Our largest demand for medications is from mental health or behavioral health. There is an incredible demand for these, and they are expensive, so they are often in shortage."

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