Letter to the Editor – Why Pay for Medi Drop Boxes When Pharmacies Provide Service for Free?

It has been reported this morning that Medi Drop boxes are being set up so that people can return old or unused medication, including narcotics.


The boxes are being placed at the hospitals and the police stations.


I wonder what this program costs?

Mary Anne Pankhurst – South Glengarry Ontario

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Cornwall Free News


Pharmacies have always provided this service free-of-charge and this Medical Arts Pharmacy radio commercial is presently running in Cornwall.



  1. Health Canada reports that the vast majority of medications “returned” are returned through community pharmacies, even though nationally, Canadians have a long way to go in remembering to return unused medication. (Meaning lots of education and reminders are needed.) Also, in another media story about Cornwall’s Medi Drop program it was mentioned that a similar program in the US has been successful. That’s great but might also be because laws are different in the States. In many cases (unlike Canada) it is illegal to return medication to a pharmacy. The major risk cited by Health Canada about drop-box programs is the issue of security; people will try to steal from them, or steal the boxes. In Ontario, the government has implemented MedsChek, which gives the pharmacist ample opportunity to educate clients about returning unused medication.

  2. I read the article knowing that since it is being championed by the Freeholder (which I read quickly in the bathroom only if I’m in a good mood to see if anybody died) that it was going to be a stupid story. It was a dumb idea given the alternatives in place. And “skittle parties” and their close relatives “rainbow parties” are urban myths. Just the cops getting their picture in the rag again.

    I never throw out my narcotics.

  3. Hadn’t considered the urban legend issue. But I see there are Internet reports suggesting the same. Nevertheless, the police see and experience things we lay people can’t even imagine and may not want to even know. I do applaud the police for trying something. I actually hope the program is successful. Pharmacies won’t carry the costs, Cornwall taxpayers can do it.

  4. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/press_box/2009/03/the_pharmparty_meme.html

    The above link is one of several that asks pointed questions about pharm parties (Skittles or Smarties parties). This is beginning to remind me about the approximately two-decades long warnings by media to check children’s Halloween treats. In the end, there were no actual razor blades or needles in Halloween treats as was suggested in the pop press. The only cases that were legitimate (very sadly) were cases where the children’s own family members had actually or inadvertently caused harm to the children. See: It ain’t necessarily so…The Hudson Institute. It’s been about 8 or 10 years since media stopped warning people about checking children’s Hallloween treats for this very reason. No proof. No reality.

  5. Imagine how many more Drop Boxes the City could buy if they’d only just stop killing beavers.

  6. It occurs to be that to ramp up and sustain awareness of this important issue (of returning unused meds) that a consortium of stakeholders could have been put together: police, pharmacists, MDs, nurses, addiction professionals etc for a news conference. No investment in Medi Drop boxes (and their upkeep) would have been needed, and pharmacies could have purchased ad space in media to remind and educate consumers. Who’s going to drive all the way to the hospital or the police station and pay for parking just to return meds? Any person would drive by at least 3 pharmacies on the way. And without sustained reminders about the existence of the drop boxes, who will remember them 5 weeks from now?

  7. And today flyers sent out to every household in SDG. Wasteful nonsense. Everybody knows you use them or bring them to the pharmacy.

    Might need to break into one of those boxes to get through the Lift-Off lineup this year.

Leave a Reply