CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When an elderly person dies, the medicine cabinet is likely jam-packed with prescription pills. Their family members often call a pharmacy for help.
Other people don't know what to do with their own expired medications.
"They just want the stuff out of the house," said Jerry Leonard, director of pharmacy services for four Drug Emporium locations.
Last month, Drug Emporium launched a program that lets people safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medications at the pharmacy.
The program, called Dispose My Meds, is sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents independent pharmacies.
Besides preventing dangerous drug interactions and accidental ingestions, the program also helps protect the environment, Leonard said. Many pharmaceuticals can harm water supplies when flushed down the toilet.
At no cost, people can drop the medications off at local Drug Emporium locations.
"They don't have to be our patients," Leonard said. "Anybody can just stop by."
The store then works with a disposal company that gets rid of the medications safely.