New Measure Holds Drug Manufacturers Responsible for the Proper Disposal and Collection of Their Products
Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) and Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today announced the introduction of legislation to enact the “Drug Take Back Act”. The measure (S7354) helps combat the abuse of prescription drugs and prevents unused drugs from contaminating water supplies by establishing a statewide pharmaceutical drug take back program for their safe disposal.
Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, “New York, like the rest of the nation, continues to struggle with the opioid addiction crisis. Despite our best efforts to stem the tide of opioid related deaths, the number of deaths continue to rise. Due to the fact that some drug addictions are first supplied by leftover medication a family member or friend did not use, cutting off that supply is essential.”
Senator O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “It’s incredibly important to do anything and everything we can to complement and support the efforts of local law enforcement and other community leaders to combat prescription drug abuse. These efforts include National Prescription Drug Take Back Days and other initiatives like this one to facilitate the collection, and safe and responsible disposal of unused medications. This proposal to greatly expand the number of permanent, locally based drop-off locations would be a very positive, cost-effective addition to the state’s ongoing, overall strategy to protect our communities and local environments.”
The legislation would create a unified, statewide drug take back program that will save government and taxpayer money and reduce medication misuse. In addition, the program would protect New York State’s water supplies by preventing drugs from being improperly disposed of by flushing or other means that result in contamination of water bodies and negatively impact aquatic life. Last year, New York made a historic investment in improving and protecting our water and keeping drugs out of water supplies is another important and necessary step.
The bill makes pharmaceutical manufacturers responsible for all costs of the take back program, ranging from public education and awareness to collection, transport, and destruction. The Act further requires chain pharmacies and mail-order pharmacies to provide consumers with on-site collection, prepaid mail-back envelopes, or other DEA-approved methods to encourage safe drug disposal.
“This legislation will hold manufacturers rather than consumers financially responsible for safely managing the disposal of their products,” stated Senator Hannon. “With chain pharmacies providing for collection, we will be able to reach more consumers, ensuring a successful program.”
The legislation is currently on the agenda for this week’s scheduled Senate Health Committee meeting.