Let’s explore how you can use the DEA Drug Takeback day in October to get new patients to your pharmacy for FREE!
When it comes to pharmacy marketing, I am all about marketing in many different ways and using more of a guerilla marketing method as a foundation before you start paying for a bunch of advertising.
National DEA Drug Takeback Day is coming up on October 29th, 2022. This event is a great time to leverage local media and doctors to grow your pharmacy while keeping your community safe.
What is the DEA Drug Take Back Day?
Officially, this is a DEA-sanctioned event where pharmacies are allowed to take back controlled drugs. This covers controlled drugs from C2 to C5 and for them to be destroyed to get them out of the hands of people who no longer need the medication.
By allowing controlled drugs to be returned to a participating pharmacy, the DEA can keep drugs out of the environment and out of the wrong hands.
To help combat this situation, the DEA has created sanctioned take-back days. Pharmacy owners should leverage these events to educate the community, build stronger relationships with prescribers and media, and drive new potential patients into their pharmacies.
How Do You Collect the Prescriptions?
I first started participating in the Take Back Program back in 2010. At that time, pharmacies couldn’t accept controlled drugs from end users (aka patients) except during the sanctioned take-back day events. The laws have recently changed to allow pharmacies to collect controlled drugs year-round if they register with the DEA as a collector. You can complete the collector process online with this link. Once you click, you must log in with your DEA number and follow the instructions.
The next step in the process is to get the proper disposal container. I recommend the Sharps system called MedSafe. These containers are approved by the DEA and are cost-effective. You can purchase in different sizes to fit your needs. From my experience, I recommend ordering the largest size you can handle.
These will fill up quickly!
It is impressive, especially if this hasn’t been done for your patients or in your community in a while. They have a lot of unused medications that they may be holding onto. Even when you think it’s full, you can do a little shake, shake, shake, and get some more room in there.
How to Market a Drug Take-Back Program
Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of how you should market the drug take-back program.
My Trick For Getting Into Prescribers’ Offices
I learned long ago that doctors are not always open to having pharmacy paraphernalia in their offices or accepting visits from your marketer. One trick you can use with these offices is to hang a poster for a drug take-back program. I never had a doctor’s office refuse to promote a drug take-back event. And, of course, that drug take-back program poster highlighted my pharmacy, our address, where to find us, our hours, and our services.
The main message of the poster was about keeping the community safe our environment safe and taking back these unneeded medications. However, their patients were also exposed to my pharmacy name and its benefits—a true win-win scenario.
It was a great, sneaky little way to get our marketing material into some doctor’s offices. We got them professionally printed on really nice poster paper and the sizes varied between 11in by 14in and sometimes 16in by 20in, depending on the doctor’s office. Putting that in each exam room on the back of the door highlights your drug take-back program while promoting your pharmacy’s services.
It’s A Community Service Program
The doctor doesn’t feel like they’re promoting the pharmacy; they’re promoting this community safety event. But for people to partake in it, they have to come to your pharmacy.
Get Your Local Media Involved
Your local news outlets, TV, newspaper, radio, or others love these types of community events and services. They will gladly highlight you for a free news story to help get the word out if it benefits the community.
To get started with your local media:
- Write down all the major news sources in your city.
- Go to their website and copy the contact information for people with titles such as content director, reporter, community events, or similar.
- Plug those emails into your favorite email service and send them an email about the DEA Drug Take Back Event.
It’s essential to start using the DEA Take Back Event to nurture your relationships with the media in your community. Don’t let this opportunity go by even if you’re not ready for the next scheduled DEA drug take-back program. You can still get your program ready, start doing things year-round, and position yourself in the health community as somebody looking out for the safety and health of the community.
Marketing Resources From The DEA
For each drug take-back event, the DEA does an excellent job creating marketing materials in both English and Spanish. You can access their Partner Toolbox by clicking HERE. We have also made several versions you can access by completing a simple form on this link.
Please reach out if you need any support. You can chat with us on all our social channels or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and leverage this strategy to grow your pharmacy. To be one of the first to learn of strategies to improve your pharmacy, subscribe to our Weekly Awesomeness email.