Manistee Hospital’s MedSafe Program Removes Over 1000 lbs. of Medication from the Community


Since installing a MedSafe box in October 2016, Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital has collected more than 1000 lbs. of medication. The secure receptacle, located in the hospital lobby and available at all hours, provides a safe place for the public to discard expired or unwanted prescription medications.

“The hundreds of pounds of medications we’ve collected represents lives saved,” said Ron Villamaria, PharmD, Manistee Hospital’s pharmacy manager. “By providing a convenient, secure drop-off site for prescription drugs, we’re helping keep them out of the hands of those who might accidentally or intentionally misuse them.”

Combating opioid misuse is one goal of the MedSafe program. “The current opioid epidemic is a public health crisis, and Manistee County is not immune. Ensuring unused narcotics are disposed of keeps them off the streets.”

Proper disposal of prescriptions also prevents accidental poisonings. Villamaria stresses that medications should never be shared. “Any drug can be dangerous when used by someone for whom it was not prescribed.” He also reminds those who have children living in or visiting their homes to ensure their medications are stored securely and disposed of properly. “Unintentional drug poisonings result in hundreds of deaths in Michigan each year. If you don’t need your medication any longer, or if it’s past its expiration date, drop it off,” he urged.

Several other Munson Healthcare facilities recently installed MedSafe boxes. “I’m happy to see the program expand throughout northern Michigan,” said Villamaria. “Our homes and communities are safer when unused prescriptions are out of circulation.”