Colorectal Cancer News Briefs: January 20

This week we’re sending you news about SMARxT Disposal of leftover medicine and a new resource from FDA that makes finding information on their website easier.

We’re experimenting with a little different format for the weekly briefs. You’ll find two different blogs — one with research news and another with upcoming events and consumer information. In this way, we hope to include a bit more detail while still keeping the individuals items brief and easy to read.

Watch for Kate Murphy on Twitter this weekend.  She’ll be sending Tweets from the ASCO GI Symposium in Orlando.  Follow C3 news and research updates @FIGHTCRC.   Here’s more information on joining Twitter to follow C3.

SMARxT Disposal shows how to get rid of unused medicine safely

Don’t dump unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines into the toilet, sink, or drain.  Instead, SMARxT Disposal suggests that you protect children and pets by:

  1. Pouring medicines into a sealable plastic bag.  Crush pills or add water to dissolve them.
  2. Adding kitty litter, coffee grounds, or similar substances to make a mixture that isn’t appealing to eat.
  3. Removing all personal identifying information from prescription bottle labels.
  4. Sealing the plastic bag and throwing it in household trash.

Check to see if there are programs at your pharmacy or in your community that will “take back” medicines and destroy them.

The FDA recommends flushing a small number of medicines into the toilet, mostly opiate drugs, to keep them from being misused.

FDA Basics — Resource for Consumers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a new web resource for consumers FDA Basics, which explains the structure of the FDA, its leadership, and what it’s responsible for.  In addition to providing fundamental information about the FDA, the site guides consumers through the larger FDA online information including:

  • Animal food additives and veterinary drugs.
  • How FDA is involved regulating cosmetics.
  • FDA oversight of dietary supplements.
  • Regulation of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
  • Food safety:  sanitation, handling, and labeling.
  • FDA “clearance” of medical devices and regulation of companies that manufacture or market them.
  • Radiation-emitting products, both medical and non-medical, such as x-ray machines, lasers, color TV’s, and microwave ovens.
  • Regulation of tobacco products through the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act.
  • Approval and oversight of vaccines, blood, and biologics.

FDA Basics is a good place to begin your search for information about drugs, side effects, recalls, safety, and approvals.


  1. Kate Murphy says

    Absolutely right, Joe. SMARxT had a link to the FDA site for the list of medicines to flush — and I confused the issue by listing that link using the FDA name.

    SMARxT Disposal is a public-private partnership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

    Sorry for the confusion and thanks for pointing it out.

  2. says

    A partnership between the US Fish & Wildlife Service, APhA and PhRMA created the SMARxT Disposal campaign, not the FDA.

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