‘Safety is the point’

NeedyMeds president Dr. Rich Sagall says the Gloucester-based national nonprofit patient organization is taking a first step in a new direction toward more health education with new localized information and resources to make it easier for people with chronic conditions to dispose of needles, sharps, lancets and auto injectors safely.

“We know that people want specific, succinct information on safe sharps disposal, presented in ways that are easy to follow,” said Sagall, who also serves as director of Gloucester’s Board of Health. “For local guidance on disposing of sharps safely, presented in a way that is easy to understand, is a one-stop-shop.”

Under the very apt slogan “safety is the point,” the website asks users to enter their zip code for safe local disposal sites.

Under 01930, the list provides options that include Addison Gilbert Hospital on Washington Street, North Shore Health Center on Center Street and the Gloucester Police Department headquarters on Main Street; in Essex, the Health Department on Martin Street; and in Manchester, The Board of Health on Central Street.

Common sense and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tell us that sharps and needles that are not disposed of properly may cause injury, and, says Sagall — though at-home disposal is easy, in a plastic container sealed with duct tape — “some locations have different sharps disposal regulations, which may require people living or traveling in those areas to take used sharps to special drop-off points.

“People should go to to learn how to safely get rid of used sharps, wherever in the country they happen to be,” Sagall said. People can also learn if their location allows household disposal by visiting the website.

This is a new project for NeedyMeds, Sagall said. It is what he describes as “a new direction, a first project toward expanding our health education,which you’ll be hearing more about soon.” 

NeedyMeds is the creator of “the Gloucester-branded card” — what Sagall calls an “ask and you shall receive, no-fee prescription discount card” that he believes can literally be a lifesaver for low and fixed income patient populations that tend to skew older with diseases that also tend to skew older, diabetes being the leading chronic “slow killer.”

Over almost two decades, the Gloucester-based nonprofit has evolved into an encyclopedic source of information on health care in general, growing its database through relentless research, and outgrowing its original Maplewood Avenue offices to move into larger headquarters with expanded staff on Whittemore Street. More information is available by visiting .

Joann MacKenzie may be contacted at 978-675-2707, or jomackenzie@gloucestertimes.com.



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