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Monday, December 24, 2012

Walgreens Illegally Dumps Pharmaceuticals

Proper disposal of prescription drugs is of the utmost importance, it is the only sure way to keep powerful narcotics out of the wrong hands. Every year prescription drug take back days are organized across the country, allowing individuals to hand over unwanted medications to the authorities for safe disposal. What’s more, businesses that handle pharmaceuticals are obligated to dispose of medication and bio-hazardous waste safely; drugs cannot just being thrown in the normal waste bins. Apparently one pharmacy chain failed to receive the memo.

Walgreens was caught illegally dumping pharmaceutical and bio-hazardous waste in California and has been ordered to pay $16.5 million in damages, to settle a lawsuit on the matter. The suit claimed that employees of the drugstore chain illegally dumped the drugs and waste into regular trash bins, instead of sending it to authorized disposal sites. District attorneys who represent more than half of the counties in the state were behind filing the suit.

Naturally, Walgreens admits no wrongdoing, and settled the case to avoid lengthy litigation. “All hazardous materials are shipped by licensed environmental haulers to a hazardous waste disposal facility, where they are incinerated,” spokesman Jim Graham said. “We are continuing to strengthen our programs to ensure that these procedures are properly followed.”

Walgreens will pay $16.5 million in penalties and costs, and will fund environmental projects to advance consumer protection and environmental enforcement in the state, according to the Contra Costa Times.

We wish all our readers a very Healthy and Merry Christmas. 
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