Southern California breaking news and trends

Drug disposal: Pop over to prescription pill 'Take-Back Day'

Photo by Be.Futureproof via Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is asking the public to rid their medicine cabinets of potentially dangerous prescription medications and dispose of them through the agency's "National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day." The next opportunity is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29.

The next event will be the agency's fifth, and the DEA has partnered with 4,300 local law enforcement partners to set up 7,500 disposal sites across the country. Each site will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

The service is free, the process is anonymous, and more than 1.5 million pounds of prescription drugs have already been turned in via the program, says the DEA:

On April 28th, citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation.


Sativex lights up marijuana debate with FDA


Photo by Alexodus via Flickr Creative Commons

Sativex, a pot-based prescription drug spray derived not from a synthetic equivalent but from the cannabis plant itself, is jonesing for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval more than 25 years after the first synthetic THC capsules were swallowed.

Should the medicinal mouth spray get the green light, the world's first pharmaceutical developed from raw marijuana, and similar medicines, could soon find their way to pharmacy shelves, say drug companies, biotech firms and university scientists.

GW Pharma in advanced clinical trials for the drug. The British company wants to push it to the U.S. market as a treatment for cancer pain, and is hoping for FDA approval by the end of 2013.

Containing marijuana's two best known components — delta 9-THC and cannabidiol — Sativex is already approved in Canada, New Zealand and eight European countries in relieving muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.