Our project goal was to investigate the impact of drug waste protocols in Massachusetts and look into legislation in other states around this issue. We collected data through interviews with pharmacists, patients, nurses, organizations, and lawmakers. Our findings from this research were: safety protocols, overmedication, and expired medication lead to drug waste. Further dropbox areas/cactus devices can be improved, Pharmacy Benefit Managers exacerbate the burden of drug waste, diversion is an overlooked aspect of drug waste, and legislation regarding drug waste is weak. Based on these findings, we recommend solutions such as deprescribing, public awareness of disposal sites, adjustment of safety protocols, creating an environment for drug reuse companies, and implementing dose banding.
Our project sponsor is Representative Keefe from Massachusetts. Elected in 2012, State Representative Mary Keefe serves the 15th Worcester District, which is comprised of the Theater District, Piedmont, and Belmont Hill neighborhoods in the City of Worcester. Mary’s vision for a more equitable Massachusetts is evident in her progressive policies and encompasses criminal justice reform, education, affordable housing, fair labor and wage practices, arts and culture, and environmental justice. Mary’s approach to policy making includes centering impacted stakeholders throughout the legislative process and convening multi-sector partners and advocates (MALegislature, 2023).
Project Goal and Objectives
The goal of this project was to research the causes of drug waste as well as the economic and general impacts to propose recommendations to Representative Mary Keefe. To achieve this goal, we developed the following research objectives.
- Investigate stakeholders involved with preventable drug waste.
- Review of State and Federal Legislation Aimed at Preventing Drug Waste.
- Propose recommendations to Representative Keefe on preventable drug waste.