General Question

jetblondie's avatar

Can I sell and/or donate my unused prescription medications?

Asked by jetblondie (147 points ) June 8th, 2011

When I lost my job back in February, I stocked up on my prescription medications knowing that when my health insurance ran out, I wouldn’t be able to afford them ($400–600/month). I’m no longer taking them; is there a place that would (legally!) buy them from me? If not, where may I donate them?

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15 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Sorry, but the best place for these drugs is the toilet. Each state has a law forbidding unqualified people from practicing medicene, without a license.

If you donated these drugs and they resulted in sickness or death to another, you would be liable to be sued in civil court.

Be smart and flush them away.

YoBob's avatar

The short answer is no.

Selling them makes you a drug dealer and I doubt that any charitable donations organizations deal in prescription medications.

JilltheTooth's avatar

There are some good tips here and as I recall, flushing is not a good option, as they enter the water table. Please check out the thread. I’ll see if I can find the appropriate post on it.

Edit: There are some good links there as well, please heed the advice.

FutureMemory's avatar

No reputable pharmacy/organization would accept them.

They’re trash.

Blueroses's avatar

In our veterinary practice, we had the widow of a client offer us her husband’s unused medications. We were able to accept antibiotics and pulmonary drugs for animal use but nothing on the Controlled Drugs Schedules. There were several full boxes of Fentanyl patches that we turned over to the Sheriff’s office for disposal. Walgreens pharmacy will also safely dispose of unwanted meds. Please don’t flush them.

john65pennington's avatar

Oh, how many times have I witnessed drug dealers flush heroin and cocaine down the toilet?

Maybe, this is why my tap water tastes so bad??

zenvelo's avatar

Do NOT flush them. It causes all kinds of problems downstream.

Turn them into your local law enforcement office. There are lists online that will say which agencies will accept them.

April 30 was National Turn in Your Old Drugs day, but agencies accept them all year round.

jetblondie's avatar

Wow! Thanks, everyone for your responses. @john65pennington: I didn’t even think about the liability factor, yikes. @JilltheTooth: I read about not flushing them, too. I’ll just throw them in my garbage which I personally take to the dumpster (we don’t have trash pickup here). @zenvelo: They’re not controlled substances so I don’t think it’s necessary to take them to the police station, but thank you very much for the information!

zenvelo's avatar

@jetblondie If they are prescription drugs, they should be disposed of by a law enforcement agency which will incinerate them. Putting them in the trash will not prevent them from leaching into the environment.

jetblondie's avatar

Oh I didn’t realize. Will do, then. Thanks! :)

faye's avatar

Our hospital had us just throwing them in the garbage- hopefully then the hospital did something besides the dump. My pharmacy will accept drugs to dispose of all year.

Blueroses's avatar

We had a crushing machine for expired drugs. Dumped them in and turned a crank handle to powder them and then sealed the powder into a biohazard container for a service to pick up along with used needles and surgical blades.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You got them in February, and it is June now. Do they expire? Why are you discarding them when they are still good? Are you out of space? Can you keep them just in case you have the same condition some months down the road?
It seems like extra pollution and a waste of our health insurance dollars to discard something that might be needed later.
I’d keep them another year and then decide.

Symbeline's avatar

@john65pennington Maybe, this is why my tap water tastes so bad??

Okay that was the most awesome thing ever posted LOL. :D

Even if this was allowed, medication expires. Not a good idea for resale. If that was me, I’d ask the person who prescribed them what I can do with them besides proper disposal. If anything at all. :/

jetblondie's avatar

Thanks, all. I asked my doctor and he said the same thing as @worriedguy, pretty much—just to keep them, just in case. It’s not like they’re taking up a bunch of space. Thanks again, everyone!

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