Monday, August 22, 2005

Waste Not Want Not

"Waste Not Want Not", I bet you have all heard that before. It is good advice, and it is also the suject of the latest issue of my United States Representative Sam Graves (R-MO)news letter, 'Straight Talk With Sam'. I'd like to share it with you.


Drug Reuse

Waste not, want not. Most of us learned that bit of advice from our parents, who learned it from their parents. I find myself reminding my children that they need to clean their plates, because there are children in the world who go to bed starving each night.

That is why throwing away perfectly good drugs that others could use, does not make any sense to me. Many nursing homes have left over drugs because a patient moves or their medication is changed. These unused drugs are often simply thrown away.

A study by the Journal of Family Medicine in 2001 estimated that $1 billion a year in drugs prescribed to the elderly are thrown away each year.A reuse program would be safe because drugs used at nursing homes are different than those sold to the general public. Nursing homes buy individually packaged drugs that have a lot number, an expirationdate and are sealed in tamper resistant blister packs.

Good old fashioned Missouri common sense tells me that we should not throw away drugs that can be reused. Several states, including Missouri, have some kind of reuse program. During the month of August, I will be traveling the district to talk with nursing homes and pharmacies about the drug reuse concept. I hope to introduce federal legislation this fall.

If implemented on a national level this program could produce dramatic results. Reducing the number of drug purchases by Medicaid and Medicare would save taxpayers' money. Waste not, want not, some advice is timeless.


Sam Graves
Member of Congress

This sounds good to me, but I have a feeling Sam is going to need some help with this. How do you think the big pharmaceutical companys will react to Sams plan. If he does introduce this legislation (I'll let you know if I hear he does)I hope you will contact your elected officials and urge them to support it.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


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