Meijer, Ralphs, Tops Prepare for Drug Take Back Day Events

Retailers working in tandem with national program to be held April 22
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
ecrowe
Meijer drug take back
Meijer expects an influx of customers bringing back unused or expired medications on April 22.

As part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 22, Meijer Inc., Ralphs Grocery Co. and Tops Markets LLC will help customers dispose of unused and expired medications. Although Meijer offers kiosks year-round for disposal of items, the retailer is preparing for an influx of customers that day.

During the event last year, Meijer collected 3 tons of medication. Since the program’s inception in February 2019, the retailer has collected more than 120 tons of unneeded medications in easily identifiable kiosks near each of its pharmacies.

"Although spring cleaning is top of mind right now for many people, it's easy to forget about clearing out medicine cabinets. The Meijer Drug Take Back Program helps our customers remove the risk of an unforeseen medication accident and helps keep medications out of our waterways and environment, by providing a secure place to dispose of them," said Jackie Morse, VP of Meijer Pharmacy. "It adds a convenience to one-stop shopping and is a great way to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications."

Ralphs and Kroger Health, meanwhile, are working with Cardinal Health and DisposeRx to hold take-back events throughout Southern California. Locations include:

  • Culver City Police Department
  • Hoag Hospital, Irvine, Cali.
  • Leisure World Seal Beach
  • Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station
  • South Pasadena Police Department

"Ralphs and our affiliated brands work diligently to provide expert and credible care to customers every single day,” said Dr. Linh Lee, director of health and wellness/pharmacy for Ralphs Pharmacy. “We prioritize the safe disposal of unused or expired prescription and nonprescription drugs to protect the welfare of our local communities, and create healthier environments for everyone.”

Continued Lee: “Ralphs' pharmacists are excited to again collaborate across our communities with local law enforcement, Cardinal Health and DisposeRx by providing safe and convenient locations to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs on the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day."

All 55 of Tops' in-store pharmacies are approved drop-off locations for prescription drugs. The grocer is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to provide designated disposal bins at every location.

“Every year, Tops is pleased to be a part of the Annual National Drug Take Back Day events in the communities we serve,” said Matthew Hamed, Tops' director of pharmacy operations. “We want to help be a part of the solution and are pleased to help not only on April 22, but year round. Proper disposal of unused, unwanted and/or expired prescription medications helps not only protect our environment, but more importantly saves lives.”

The last National Drug Take Back Day event that Tops hosted in October 2022 saw more than 647,163 pounds, or 324 tons, of medication recovered.

Since the first Drug Take Back Day, in 2010, 16.6 million pounds of medication across the United States have been properly disposed of.

Compton, Calif.-based Ralphs employs more than 18,000 associates at 184 supermarkets across Southern California. Its parent company, Cincinnati-based Kroger, is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Privately owned Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., operates 501 supercenters, Meijer Grocery, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 20 on The PG 100. Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops operates 149 supermarkets, including five franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The banner’s parent company, Northeast Grocery Inc., is No. 44 on PG's list.

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