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April 28th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

Did you know this Saturday, April 28th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day?

Whether you live alone or with a large family, it’s important to be sure that you properly dispose of any prescription medications that remain unused in your medicine cabinet. No matter the reason that we may have extra medication, we must take steps to ensure they are not lost, stolen, or misused by those around us. Plus, it’s important to properly dispose of medicines in a safe way that does not negatively impact the environment!

For National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offers a range of resources advising us on best disposal techniques at There you can find information on drug scheduling (the labeling of a drug based on its potential for abuse), a drug database, and even a handy tool where you can provide your address for information on the nearest collection center where you live. Google also teamed up with the DEA to put together a convenient map of all the collection sites to help you find spots near you. On the most recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October, there were more than 5,000 collection sites that managed to collect and properly dispose of over 900,000 pounds of medications, or 456 tons!

Of course, proper medication disposal cannot be limited to just a couple of days a year, so if you find yourself unable to make it to the nearest collection center Saturday, you can always make use of the DEA Diversion Control Division’s search tool to find public disposal locations year-round.

Remember, appropriate handling of medication is crucial and proper disposal can save lives, so take a look inside your medicine cabinet this Saturday for any prescription medications that require disposal. Be sure to keep us updated with how you spend National Prescription Drug Take Back Day over Facebook and Twitter!

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Helping Seniors Speak Out on Medicare Part D

Hello!  My name is Nona Bear and for the last 20+ years I have read about, talked about, studied, and listened to information and ideas about Medicare. One year ago, my “book learning” got upgraded to “hands on” experience, as I became a Medicare beneficiary myself.

My goal in writing this blog is to share my thoughts as both a person on Medicare, as well as, someone who works in health care advocacy. I hope that many of you will reciprocate by sharing your observations, ideas, recommendations and even critiques about how Medicare works for you.

As I write this, I have just come back from getting my prescriptions refilled at the pharmacy. I have great confidence in the pharmacists who are on staff and want to be able to keep getting my medicines from there. When I first chose a Medicare Part D plan, I took the time to review each plan’s list of participating pharmacies so that I could shop where I preferred. That choice was one of several important factors I considered when I selected a plan.

Now, with Medicare Open Enrollment around the corner, I will continue to take full advantage of the options that Medicare Part D provides.  In addition to keeping the pharmacy I want, I will be reviewing plans — including the one I have now — to be sure I get the best deal in terms of premium cost and, most importantly, coverage for the medicines I take. Having a choice means I have power as a consumer and as a patient, which is something I value and want to keep.

How will you take advantage of the options provided by Open Enrollment when it begins on October 15, 2014?  What factors are most important to you?  Where do you get the information you need to make your decision?  Where do you go for help in making your choice?

Please share your experiences and best advice on making the most of Open Enrollment or other things about Medicare that are on your mind. Be sure to check back with us regularly to read your thoughts and hear what other Medicare beneficiaries from around the country are saying.

I hope to hear from you soon!!