Why can’t pharmacies dispose of unused drugs?

I just read The News story titled, “Cattaraugus lists prescription drop-off sites.” While I think it is important for us to properly dispose of prescription medications for all of the reasons cited in the article – keeping them out of the hands of teenagers and from seeping into the water supply – I don’t understand why these special drop-off sites even need to be set up.

It would seem to me that if pharmacies are capable of properly storing and distributing medications, they should also be able to collect them for proper disposal. This way, no one would have to make a special trip, on a special day, at a special time to dispose of unused drugs. Folks could just drop them off whenever they happen to go to the drugstore. I have no doubt that this would help the problem. Grocery stores have to accept cans and bottles for return. Why can’t pharmacies accept unused prescription medications for proper disposal?

Marty Wimmer