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Patients need advice on safe drug disposal.

QUEBEC CITY -- Physicians need to do more to educate their patients on safe and environmentally sound methods for disposing of unwanted medications.

That was the message from a study showing that less than 20% of patients had ever been advised on how to dispose of unused or expired medications by their provider.

The conclusions are based on 301 patients or family members who completed a 23-item computerized survey while waiting for drugs at a military outpatient pharmacy, Dr. Dean A. Seehusen reported in a poster at the annual meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group.

Counseling from health care providers did make patients more aware of sound disposal methods, reported Dr. Seehusen, research director, department of family medicine, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Ft. Gordon, Ga.

The 59 (20%) respondents who had been counseled were more likely than those who hadn't been counseled to identify that storing these medications in their house was unacceptable (85% vs. 67%), identify that returning medications to the pharmacy was acceptable (92% vs. 60%), and identify that returning medications to a provider was acceptable (75% vs. 47%).
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Title Annotation:surveys
Author:Wendling, Patrice
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CQUE
Date:May 1, 2006
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