- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Maine Care (Maine's Medicaid program) established a limit for certain drugs on the quantity that can be filled with an initial prescription. This policy was targeted at reducing the supply and accumulation of unused medications and to prevent pollution. The Maine legislature also recognized the value of the take-back pilot and enacted legislation to continue the program for an additional two years. As part of the EPA grant, the University of Maine's Center on Aging developed a handbook on the project and collected data on the type and amount of unused medications.
"This pilot is important because it has filled research gaps about the volumes and types of medications that can end up in our waters, and affect our ecosystems," said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "The pilot also gave residents a way to serve as environmental stewards to reduce water pollution."
A 2005 report by the Associate Press opened the door for pharmaceuticals to possibly be regulated or treated in drinking water, as the article showed more than trace amounts of drugs were present in our nation's waterbodies. The EPA is currently evaluating the potential risks associated with pharmaceuticals and personal care products on public health and aquatic life, but controls seem a long way off.
View the executive summary of the report at www.epa.gov/aging/RX-report-Exe-Sum/.
SOURCES: University of Maine Center on Aging Press Release, EPA Press Release