Glaxo starting first US inhaler recycling program

TRENTON, N.J. - British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline says patients who use respiratory inhalers will be able to recycle the devices for the first time in the U.S.

GlaxoSmithKline is launching its new "Complete the Cycle" program Wednesday in drugstores in 31 cities, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Atlanta.

Glaxo is the top seller of respiratory medicines in this country, with brands including the blockbuster Advair, Flovent and Serevent. But its new program will also recycle inhalers made by competitors.

Patients will be able to drop off inhalers in boxes at participating pharmacies. They'll ship them to a Glaxo contractor for free recycling. They'll be turned into plastic and metal products.

Glaxo hopes to collect at least 100,000 inhalers in the first year, then expand the program.

To find participating cities and pharmacies, go to GlaxoSmithKline's website.