Drug Disposal: A Legislative Update
Numerous bills relating directly to drug disposal have been introduced in Congress and state houses across the country.
State Legislation Introduced in 2009
Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, and Florida have legislation pending that would require drug manufacturers to operate and pay for statewide systems to collect, transport, and dispose of leftover pharmaceuticals from the public and certain facilities. A similar bill in Washington was not voted on in time to advance during this legislative session. Links to, and the status of, these states’ bill are below:
In California, SB 26 would require the state’s Board of Pharmacy to work with other state agencies, local governments, drug manufacturers, and pharmacies to develop sustainable, efficient policies and programs to manage pharmaceutical wastes and the disposal of devices. The bill would authorize a pharmacy to accept the return of home-generated pharmaceutical waste and home-generated sharps waste. This bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development in early February 2009.
Federal Legislation Introduced in 2009
At the federal level, two bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives to amend the Controlled Substances Act. Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on the Judiciary. HR 1191, the Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2009 introduced by Congressman Inslee (D-WA) with Congressman Moran (D-VA), would provide for disposal of controlled substances by ultimate users and care takers through state take-back disposal programs. It would also amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit recommendations on drug labels for disposal by flushing, and for other purposes. The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2009, HR 1359, was introduced by Congressman Stupak (D-MI) with Congressman Smith (R-TX) to provide for the disposal of controlled substances in specific instances.
The Water Quality Investment Act, HR 1262, passed the House of Representatives and was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on March 16, 2009. This bill includes provisions requiring federal agencies to study the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the waters of the United States (Section 6001), and for the EPA to convene a task force to develop drug disposal recommendations for consumers and healthcare institutions (Section 7001).