Mallinckrodt to Donate One Million Drug Deactivation Pouches to Support U.S. Fight against Prescription Drug Abuse

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals will purchase and donate more than 1 million Deterra™ drug deactivation pouches to help combat one of the top public health threats in the U.S. today – abuse of prescription pain medications. Through this initiative, families can actively address concerns with the responsible use of pain medications and patient safety.

"As a company focused on our patients and communities, Mallinckrodt has long been a strong advocate of addressing the complex issues of opioid misuse and abuse that cause so much harm to families," said Mark Trudeau, Mallinckrodt President and Chief Executive Officer. "We share the concerns of parents around the country, and believe that providing patients with a safe, environmentally responsible way to dispose of unused medications is critical in this fight against prescription drug abuse. Mallinckrodt is committed to working with policy makers, community leaders, law enforcement and industry partners to ensure the responsible use of pain medication and prevent unused medications from ending up in the wrong hands."

The pouch-based systems that Mallinckrodt is donating deactivate prescription drugs and render chemical compounds safe for landfills. The pouches are also biodegradable, providing an environmentally responsible way to deactivate and dispose of drugs. The company plans to distribute the pouches through collaboration with policy champions and community leaders who share its goal of building public awareness of the critical role of responsible drug disposal in the fight against prescription drug abuse. In particular, the initiative reinforces Mallinckrodt's long-standing commitment to the safe and responsible use of medications.

A national survey of U.S. adults who used opioids showed that nearly 6 out of 10 had or expect to have leftover opioids, according to findings published online June 13, 2016, in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. Nearly 68 percent of those who used prescription pain relievers non-medically in 2012-2013 got them from friends or relatives, according to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

"Substance abuse is arguably the greatest public health crisis facing the U.S. today," said CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean. "Addressing our nation's misuse of pain medication requires collaboration and commitment from every sector. We commend Mallinckrodt for their efforts to make drug disposal safer and easier for patients, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Mallinckrodt and others on these types of industry-led initiatives."

Beyond today's commitment to donate 1 million drug deactivation systems, Mallinckrodt has made past donations of about 500,000 pouches to providers, patient groups and other stakeholders through partnerships with organizations such as CADCA, The Jed Foundation and ACT Missouri. These are part of the company's multi-million dollar investments in a comprehensive effort to address opioid abuse and misuse.  

An integral part of Mallinckrodt's vision is to invest in and expand the use of opioid abuse-deterrent technology. The company supports development of tamper-resistant/abuse-deterrent technologies and regulatory standards that support the adoption of these technologies. Other elements of this comprehensive effort include:

  • Improving integration of federal and state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and efforts; and Mallinckrodt has strongly advocated for a PDMP in Missouri, the lone state without such a program;
  • Developing and sharing best practices for monitoring suspicious orders, both at the manufacturing and supply chain stages – an area where Mallinckrodt is an industry leader;
  • Improving stakeholder education for patients, providers and the public at large, including education initiatives validated by measurable outcomes; and
  • Enhancing drug take-back and addiction rehabilitation programs.

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