Drug Donation Program – Repository

Patients may donate unused or discontinued medications and supplies to a participating pharmacy or medical facility. Those items will be given to individuals with cancer or chronic disease that do not have insurance or are underinsured.

Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

What are the drug donation requirements?

  1. Be accompanied by a completed drug repository donor form that is signed by the donor or that person's authorized representative.
  2. The drug is not adulterated or misbranded.
  3. The drug will not expire until at least ninety days after the donation is made.
  4. The drug is in its original, unopened tamper-evident packaging.

How should participating pharmacies proceed when an individual, physician's office or health care facility donates medication that, due to federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate, may require patient registration with the drug manufacturer?

It is imperative that all pharmacies participating in the program ensure that any drug subject to a FDA-mandated restricted distribution program is not dispensed.

When questions arise, the pharmacy is encouraged to contact the drug manufacturer directly or visit the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research website for additional information. Under no circumstances should the drugs be redistributed.
Oftentimes, the manufacturer of the restricted distribution drug has a return policy in place for unused medication. Pharmacies should contact the manufacturer directly for details on any return policies and procedures.

What is an adulterated or misbranded prescription?

Adulterated means the medication has degraded, been stored improperly or has had something happen to it where the medication is no longer safe to use. Misbranded may mean the medication was originally labeled incorrectly and, therefore, makes the medication unsafe to use.

What does tamper evident packaging mean? Can I donate medications that I received from the pharmacy in a bottle?

Tamper evident packaging is packaging where the package is sealed. Eligible packaging may also be an inhaler sealed in a foil wrapper or an injectable medication with the manufacture vial cap intact. Medications received from a pharmacy in the typical brown or amber bottle are not eligible for donation.

Can controlled substances be donated?

Controlled substances such as morphine, oxycodone or lorazepam cannot be donated. These medications are typically used for pain, anxiety and sleep and cannot be returned to a pharmacy or medical facility according to federal law.

Where can I donate my prescription?

Participating pharmacies and medical facilities are listed (PDF) on this web site. Please contact individual locations about their specific hours and donation procedures.

Who is eligible to receive the medications?

Any Wisconsin resident is eligible to receive drugs or supplies under the drug repository program in the order of priority established under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 148.07 (4).

Is there a charge to receive the medications or supplies?

Pharmacies may charge a fee for the counseling, preparation and documentation they are required to do when dispensing donated medications. That fee currently can be up to approximately $13 per prescription, but can be no more than $15.

How do we find out which medications are available?

Please contact the participating pharmacies or medical facilities (PDF) regarding which medications they may have available.

Why does Wisconsin have a drug repository program?

It is important that patients have access to the medications and supplies they need to fight their battle with the disease. Wis. Stat. § 255.055 authorized the Department of Health Services (DHS) to establish and maintain a drug repository program. In doing so, the DHS was required to develop administrative rules for the program. Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 148 addresses the following:

  • Criteria for drugs and supplies that the program will accept;
  • Eligibility requirements, standards and procedures for medical facilities and pharmacies that accept, store and dispense the donated drugs and supplies;
  • Criteria for identifying individuals that are eligible to receive donated drugs or supplies;
  • Limits for the handling fee that may be charged for accepting, distributing or dispensing medications; and
  • The forms to be used to record the donation and dispersal of drugs and supplies.

Contact Us

If you would like additional information on any of these issues, please email Doug Englebert, Pharmacy Consultant, Division of Quality Assurance.

Last Revised: April 13, 2022