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Drug collection boxes offer safe disposal of unused medications

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center now offers three drug return boxes to help employees and community members dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medication in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

The boxes were made available in September in partnership with the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office. People can use them during regular business hours at these three locations:

  • 30 Hope Drive, Hershey, inside Entrance B
  • Penn State Cancer Institute near the pharmacy by the main entrance
  • University Physician Center lobby, Door 4, near the pharmacy

The idea for the drug return boxes came from Hershey Medical Center’s Palliative Medicine team. “Their patients take a sizeable amount of medication, and when they have changes or no longer need a medication, family members often ask us how to dispose of that medication,” said Tom Vissering, opioid stewardship pharmacist at Penn State Health.

The boxes accept prescription or over-the-counter pills, capsules and topical medications. They also accept liquid medications (4 ounces or less) when sealed in a plastic bag. Sharps, illicit drugs, batteries, medical devices and aerosols are not accepted.

Hershey Medical Center is the only hospital in Dauphin County that offers drug return boxes, one of which is grant-funded by the Association of Faculty and Friends at Hershey Medical Center.

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