Beckley company releases new way to destroy pills


Saturday, April 27 is nation wide drug take back day. Different locations across the country will be collecting unwanted or unused pills. This helps to keep them from getting into the wrong hands. But just how are these pills destroyed? One Beckley company  has invented a new way to safely destroy medications.

Why did you develop this, 59 News Reporter Lauren Hensley asked Andy Knapp, Director with Vaught, Inc.

"We have a close relationship with hospice in Southern West Virginia and they came to us with a need the nurses were looking for a better way to dispose of medicines in  patients homes. We developed "Element" to satisfy that need.  It turned something that would take 30-40 minutes down to 4 or 5 minutes. And it is a safe more professional way to get rid of these medicines," Knapp explained.

Element was developed out of a need from the medical community, but Knapp said he found out the need was even greater. He hopes Element could help make a dent combating the widespread pill problem.

"It is a huge epidemic especially in our area, we had a nation wide success and we want to support communities in their effort to stop prescription drug abuse," Knapp said.

59 News Reporter Lauren Hensley was able to test out Element.

When users open the kit it comes with a white bottle.  All of the instructions are in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's guidelines to dispose of medications.

Users are instructed to gather their old, unwanted or unused medications and place them in the bottle.  The kit comes with a solution that the user opens and places in the bottle along with the pills.  Users add water, just enough to cover the pills and dissolve the solution.  The solution is safe to use and once again meets all of the FDA guidelines.

After adding the water, you shake and the pills dissolve into a gel that makes the pills unusable.  Knapp said this helps prevent them getting into the wrong hands and it is much better for the water system over simply flushing the pills down the toilet. Once the gel forums all the users have to do is throw away the bottle in the trash can.

For a limited time free samples of Element will be given out at Beckley Bypass Pharmacy and the product is also available for purchase. For more information, click here.  To find a "Drug Take Back Day" location click here.

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