Walgreens Study Finds Nearly 40 Percent of American Households Surveyed Have Expired Over-The-Counter Medications
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:00 AM

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Medications for cough, sore throat and flu among the most common to

be found expired when needed

Proper disposal of medications also an issue

Nov. 10, 2010 (Business Wire) -- Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) today released the findings from its 2010 Over-The-Counter Household Inventory and Consumer Attitude Study, showing that nearly 40 percent of U.S. households surveyed have at least one bottle of expired over-the-counter (OTC) medication in the home. Nearly all households polled had OTC medications on hand with the most common being pain relievers, cough/cold treatments and allergy relief. In individual interviews, most consumers said they were surprised to find expired drugs in their home, with half stating they are typically not aware a medication is expired until it is needed.

“With cough, cold and flu season now well under way, consumers should check for medications on hand, note expiration dates and replace commonly used medications as needed to make sure they’re prepared to immediately meet their family’s needs in the event of an illness,” said Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Cheryl Pegus.

The Walgreens study, conducted with a nationwide sample of OTC purchasers over age 18, included an online survey with 500 people. The study, designed to gain insights on consumer attitudes regarding OTC medications, found that 63 percent of consumers surveyed would like to be more prepared in case of their own illness or the illness of a family member.

“Coming down with an illness and not having an OTC pain reliever or cough/cold medication readily available only makes the situation worse,” said Pegus. “To ensure that you have safe medications at home, you should check your medicines for expiration dates with each change of season.”

According to the Walgreens study, 55 percent of those surveyed with OTC medications in their home said they are likely to knowingly take expired drugs, especially within the first few months after a medication has expired. Though most parents tend to check expiration dates more frequently, more than a third said they have given their children medication that had expired in the previous six months.

In addition, when consumers dispose of medication, more than 60 percent of those surveyed said they dispose of medications in the household garbage. In September, Walgreens launched the first ongoing, nationwide Safe Medication Disposal Program, a safe and environmentally responsible alternative way to dispose of unused or expired medications. For $2.99, customers can purchase a specially designed envelope available at any Walgreens pharmacy counter that allows them to place, seal and mail prescription or over-the-counter medications they no longer use for safe, eco-friendly disposal. Controlled substances are excluded from this program due to current regulations. Postage is included in the cost of the envelope.

The OTC research, in association with GK Custom Research, was conducted among a nationally reflective sample of 500 over-the-counter medication purchasers aged 18 and older. The survey covered household inventory, practices and attitudes related to over-the-counter medication purchase and use. Results are accurate to +/- 3.8 percentage points at 95 percent Confidence Level.

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,608 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility, long-term care and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Walgreens Take Care Health Systems subsidiary is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

Vivika Vergara
(847) 914-2923

(Source: Business Wire )
(Source: Quotemedia)


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