Agnesian Pharmacy Director Addresses Drug Drop Box Milestone

Over the past two years, Agnesian HealthCare has collected
over 4,000 pounds of unused prescription medications. Two years ago, three
hospitals around Fond du Lac
introduced drug
drop boxes in their lobby areas – for people to dispose of drugs they no longer
need. Agnesian Director of Inpatient Pharmacy Katie Reinke tells us that
addition has made a bigger impact than she could have imagined. 

Reinke says “this expansion that Agnesian HealthCare did only added to the amount of medications that we were able to remove from the community and remove from our wastewater system and also decrease the potential for these medications to fall into the wrong hands. It’s such a wonderful thing for our community that we’ve been able to do this. I am, by far, shocked to see how much medication we’ve been able to take in over the last two years that we’ve had with these drug drops.”

Reinke also never expected “when we put in these medication take-back safes that we would ever reach that poundage. It’s incredible. I never really put a goal out there for us, but to reach 4,000 pounds – it sounds like a lot of heavy lifting and it really is, but it’s a lot of medication to really get out of places that we don’t want them to be.”

She is amazed at the impact they’ve had already – and says the idea
behind the boxes is just a piece of a much larger effort across the state to reduce opioid prescriptions and abuse. 

Reinke adds that “in the last
couple of years, Wisconsin has really been leading the forefront with getting
opioids out of the hands of people who don’t necessarily need them. We’ve had a
lot of wonderful initiatives within our state to decrease opioid prescriptions
and inappropriate opioid utilization. So we’re very lucky in the state of Wisconsin to have had
some of these changes put into effect and see some positive impact of getting
those opioids out of the hands of people who don’t need them.”

Along with St. Agnes Hospital, Ripon Medical
Center, and Waupun Memorial
– Drug Free
Communities of Fond du Lac County sponsors eight others, including the one
located inside the Fond du Lac Police Department lobby. All drug drop locations are open during hospital main entrance