KLINGENSMITH’S DRUG STORE personnel, along with local officials, were on hand last week for the unveiling of a new machine that can be used at Klingensmith’s stores to dispose of used prescription needles on site.

FORD CITY – Klingensmith’s Drug Stores, including the locations in New Bethlehem and Rimersburg, have implemented a new medical waste remediation solution that allows patients to safely dispose of their prescription needles at their local drug store.

Klingensmith’s made the announcement last week from its home base in Ford City, saying that it has teamed with Sterilis LLC, a company that works in regulated medical waste management, to become the first and only drug store chain in the United States to provide a program where used needles can be safely remediated onsite.

The Sterilis solution has been installed at Klingensmith’s Ford City, West Kittanning, New Bethlehem and Rimersburg locations. Customers of the drug store chain’s four other locations — Leechburg, Kittanning, NuMine and Shelocta — will all have access to the Sterilis device as well.

Officials at the unveiling last week in Ford City said that by adding Sterilis devices at its locations, it enables Klingensmith’s to offer patients a safe, responsible method for disposing of their used syringes, helping to keep the local communities safer.

The patented Sterilis device uses steam sterilization and grinding technology to transform medical waste, including used needles and sharps, into a harmless confetti-like material that can be disposed of in the regular trash. The Sterilis method of waste disposal reduces toxic air pollution created when RMW is incinerated, which is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. The device requires no fixtures or plumbing and can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet.

“In today’s competitive retail pharmacy sector, our true differentiator is the fact that we are local, we know our customers well and we do everything we can to serve their healthcare needs,” said Dave Cippel, president at Klingensmith’s Drug Stores. “By adopting Sterilis’ medical waste remediation and disposal system, Klingensmith’s is now able to provide the full circle of care to patients who require at-home needle injection medications. From getting their prescription, taking their used needles and storing them in a regulated, safe container and finally dropping containers at our stores for proper disposal, we can ensure the patients and communities we serve are significantly safer and healthier.”

“The name Klingensmith’s is synonymous with great customer service,” said Jeff Bell, founder and president of Sterilis. “We applaud them for taking this big, bold and necessary step to do what’s right. By establishing this program to take back used syringes and remediate them onsite with the Sterilis system, Klingensmith’s has become a model for other businesses dispensing syringe-based medications to follow.”

With the added benefit of used needle disposal, patients receiving at-home care prescriptions that require injections through Klingensmith’s Drug Stores can get their medication and a sharps container to ensure they are safely and properly storing and disposing of used needles. Once the container is full, patients can bring it to the nearest Klingensmith’s store and drop off the sharps container at the pharmacy, and the pharmacist will dispose of it via Sterilis.

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