Help SIRUM Stop the Wasting of Good Medicine

Every year, California’s health facilities destroy about $100 million of perfectly good, unused prescription medication. Meanwhile, one in four working age adults forgo taking the medications they need to be healthy, simply because they can’t afford them.

CALTCM is proud to endorse SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine), a non-profit solution closing this wasteful gap between the excess from our facilities and the needs of our community members. Funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation, SIRUM enables health facilities to donate unused prescription medicine, rather than destroy it.

Through SIRUM’s simple online system, unused drugs are directly donated to safety-net clinics, who then give them to patients in need. All a health facility needs to do is collect its unused medications and scan or fax the bar codes into the SIRUM system, which automatically identifies a clinic with matching needs, generates a shipping label, and schedules a pickup. The donation process actually saves time and is established by statute to be liability-free for SNFs and assisted living facilities.

For their great work, SIRUM has been recognized with the Westly Prize for Social Innovation, and by NASA, Nike, the US State Department and USAID as a worldwide innovator in waste reduction. But, the $2 million worth of prescription medicine they’ve redirected to Californians in need is just a fraction of the medicine facilities around our state waste every year.

If you have the ability to talk with your SNF or other organization leadership, please bring this opportunity to their attention. With more support from long-term care professionals like us, SIRUM has the potential to save more medicine, and, in turn, more lives. Please or contact [email protected] to find out how your facility or organization can get involved.

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