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Consumer Guide: Drug Repository Program

The Drug Repository Program is a way for people who can’t afford medicines to get what they need. Donors give medicine or medical supplies that they haven’t used to participating pharmacies or medical facilities. These items then go to people with cancer or a long-term (chronic) condition. This page explains more about the program and how to get involved.

View a list of participating pharmacies and medical facilities (PDF)

Helpful Drug Repository Program forms

Download and complete these forms based on your needs.

Drug donation FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Expand a section to find the answer to the question.

These statements must be true to donate a prescription medicine as part of this program:

  • The donation includes a signed Drug Repository Program: Donation Record, F-62645B (Word) from the donor or an authorized representative.
  • The drug is not adulterated or misbranded.
    • Adulterated means that the drug is either:
      • Damaged.
      • Stored the wrong way.
      • Not safe to use based on something that happened to it.
    • Misbranded means the drug had the wrong label from the start. This makes it not safe to use.
  • The drug will not expire until at least 90 days after the donation date.
  • The drug is in its original, unopened, tamper-evident packaging.
    • Tamper-evident packaging means the package is sealed.
    • Other approved packaging includes:
      • An inhaler sealed in a foil wrapper.
      • Injectable drugs with the manufacture vial cap intact.

No, you cannot donate controlled substances, such as:

  • Lorazepam
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

These are often used to treat pain, anxiety, and sleep issues. You can’t return these to a pharmacy or medical facility based on federal law, 21 CFR 1317.35(d).

No, you can’t donate drugs you get from the pharmacy in a bottle. This includes the common brown or amber bottles (see image for reference).

An opened bottle of prescription pills on top of prescription pad.

You can donate unused prescription medicines to any pharmacy or medical facility listed in this document:

Drug Repository Participants (PDF)

Contact a location to learn more about their specific hours and donation process.

Any person who lives in Wisconsin can receive drugs or supplies through the Drug Repository Program. The law sets priority of who gets the drugs or supplies first:

  1. Those who don’t have insurance.
  2. Those who receive or qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, or other government-based health care.
  3. Everyone else who is otherwise eligible.

Learn more from Wis. Admin. Code § 148.07 (4).

You may be charged a fee at some pharmacies for the extra work they do when giving out donated drugs. This includes time spent:

  • Counseling
  • Documenting
  • Preparing

The fee can’t be more than $15.

Contact a participating pharmacy or medical facility to see which drugs they have. View Drug Repository Participants(PDF) for contact details.

Yes. Pharmacies and medical facilities can’t give out drugs that have a restricted distribution status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If there’s a question, the pharmacy or medical facility can call the drug maker directly or visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. Often, the maker of a restricted distribution drug has its own return policy for unused medicine.

It’s important for all people in Wisconsin to have access to medicine and supplies they need to fight a disease.

State law (Wis. Stat. § 255.055) also authorized DHS to set up and maintain a drug repository program. DHS was required to come up with rules for the program. Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 148 summarizes these rules.

Who to contact for help

Questions about the Drug Repository Program? Contact

Last revised August 30, 2022