Donating Medical Supplies in the United States
Disposing of unused medical supplies or second hand medical equipment can pose a bit of a dilemma. After all, in most cases, it was quite expensive to acquire and it seems to be a complete waste to just leave it sitting in the cupboard or to throw it out when there are people out there that could benefit from the use of these items. Medical equipment is a lot easier to pass onto someone – you can donate it to a hospital or medical facility, give it to a charitable organization or even pass it on to someone you know that needs it. It is when it comes to things such as prescribed medicine that the problem really arises. After all, we all know that you should never share your medication. Here is how you can give back to those who need it without getting yourself into hot water.
As mentioned above, getting rid of medical equipment or the more generic supplies such as bandages, crutches, etc. are not usually an issue. Ask around for ideas of organizations that can put the supplies to good use. Take a trip to the doctor’s office and see if they have any suggestions for you. Also consider going back to the place where you originally sourced the medical supplies – many optometrists, for example, will collect old glasses for use with underprivileged patients. If all else fails, approach your local Rotary Club.
Medication is trickier – you should never dispose of this yourself. Always return it to the pharmacy you got it from and they will dispose of it safely for you. In most instances, pharmacists are prohibited from re-dispensing medications that have been returned to them but they may be able to do something with them anyway. If they cannot be used for other people, the pharmacist will make sure that the meds are disposed of properly and safely. You should never throw old tablets in the bin or down the toilet – this is really bad for the environment.
Alternatively, you can approach charitable organizations and clinics in your area to see if they can use the medication.
The best part of being charitable is that you may qualify for a tax break at the same time – should the value of the item total more than two hundred and fifty dollars, get a receipt from the company and attach to your tax return.