Walgreens, BCBS unveil new drug-disposal kiosks

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - People no longer have to wait for a special event to disposed of old or unused prescription medications.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, joined Walgreens and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas officials Tuesday to announce a new round of special safe medication disposal kiosks.

The event was held at the Walgreens location at 1001 SW Topeka Blvd., which was among four kiosks in three cities the drug store chain already had. The partnership with BCBS will expand the disposal kiosks to 14 locations in 12 communities around the state.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is committed to being part of the solution to the opioid epidemic in Kansas," said Matt All, BCBSKS president/CEO. "Having easier, year-round access to ways of safely disposing of unwanted medications is a key factor in helping curb abuse and misuse of both prescription and over-the-counter medications – especially opioids – as well as lowering the opportunity for accidental poisonings."

The kiosks will be available during regular pharmacy hours. Walgreens' Midwest Region VP Lynn Stover said year-round availability is key because medications could fall into the wrong hands at any time.

"People find these in relatives' homes and that's a lot of times the gateway for them to have access to these medications where they then can become addicted or support their addiction," Stover said.

Roberts, who co-chairs the Senate Rural Health Caucus, said he is pleased bi-partisan legislation is moving forward to give states more tools to combat the opioid problem.

"It affects everybody. I don't think you can find a family that hasn't been touched in some way," he said.

The Topeka Police Dept. also has a drug-disposal kiosk available at the Law Enforcement Center.

Kiosks are now available in the following communities at the Walgreens located at the address provided:
Derby (458 N. Baltimore Ave.); Dodge City (1801 N. 14th Ave); Fort Scott (2229 S. Main St.); Hays (2600 Vine St.); Hutchinson (510 S 30th Ave.); Lawrence (3421 W. 6th St.); Leavenworth (2900 S 4th St.); Manhattan (325 Bluemont Ave.); Ottawa (1445 S. Main St.); Pittsburg (1911 N. Broadway St.); Topeka (1001 SW Topeka Blvd.); and Wichita (3150 S. Seneca St., 3333 E. Central Ave. and 555 N. Maize Rd.).