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Report: 2 percent of medicine safely tossed

Published On: Jan 14 2013 06:35:01 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

A new report says only about 2 percent of waste medication is safely discarded in Wisconsin.

The study says the state's voluntary drug collection program is "insufficient and unsustainable." The report was done by the University of Wisconsin Extension and the nonprofit Product Stewardship Institute. It found about 13 million pounds of medication was sold in 2010 and 4.4 million pounds weren't used because the drugs had reached their expiration date or were no longer needed.

The study concluded the majority of unused medication is flushed down toilets, thrown in the trash or left in bathroom cabinet and make their way into public water systems or end up in the wrong hands.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the study says the drug collection program has been hampered by inadequate funding, red tape and lack of public awareness.

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