Recycled Drugs: Why Not Use eBay?

An estimated 3 percent of drug prescriptions nationwide go unused — lost, ignored, replaced or no longer needed. In Oregon [alone], that translates to more than 1 million drugs a year.  Many of them (especially cancer drugs) are expensive and are often destined to be flushed or tossed away. For any normal product, a thriving secondary market would be underway. But standing between willing buyers and willing sellers is……… you guessed it……. government.  Unused-drug-recycling programs are underway in 37 states. But pharmacists hate the idea. (Drug companies probably do, too.) Regulations restrict which drugs can be recycled. Usually, the drugs can't be sold. [link]

Comments (3)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    I’ve never thought about this question before. There must be a huge potential market here. For example, cancer patients find one drug isn’t working very well and switch to another. What happens to all those unused pills — maybe worth thousands of dollars.

    What we need is a resale market. And I agree with you. E-Bay is probably as safe and reliable as any other alternative.

  2. Mike E. says:

    Sounds like the government has effectively outlawed a real secondary market for unused drugs.

  3. Bruce says:

    A market for unused drugs is a fascinating idea. How can we promote it?