A lack of safe disposal options contributes to the national drug abuse epidemic that is now the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., ahead of car accidents. More than 2,000 people in New York State die annually from opioid overdose, most commonly from prescription pain relievers. Moreover, when flushed or thrown away, many pharmaceuticals end up in waterways, causing harm to the ecosystem and potentially affecting sources of drinking water.
Pharmaceuticals Take-Back Bill
S 7354/A 9576 would give all New York citizens access to safe, convenient drug disposal options, with sustainable funding from the pharmaceuticals industry. NYPSC aims to improve and pass the bill with Senator Hannon’s office and Assemblywoman Gunther’s office.
Take action for pharmaceutical stewardship:
- Send a letter of support to Assemblywoman Gunther and Sentor Hannon today. Feel free to borrow language from ours.
- Pass a Resolution Supporting Pharmaceutical Take-Back Legislation
Faulty Drug Take-Back Bill Defeated!
On December 18th, 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed S.06750/A.387-B, a faulty drug take-back bill which would have let pharmaceutical producers avoid responsibility for the recovery of unwanted drugs that put New York residents’ lives at risk, and preempted local governments from enacting effective pharmaceutical producer responsibility laws. The veto was a win for NYPSC which, in strategic collaboration with Citizens Campaign for the Environment and dozens of other groups across the state, urged the Governor to veto this bill and, instead, propose an effective program funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
When Governor Cuomo vetoed the flawed bill, he instructed the NYS DEC to develop recommendations for a statewide manufacturer-funded drug take-back program by May 15. NYPSC attended all three of NYS DEC’s roundtable meetings to provide recommendations about best practices and program implementation, and to answer technical questions.
Drug Take-Back Pilot in NY Hospitals
NYPSC and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) received a solid waste management grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office to run a six-month drug take-back pilot program and public education campaign with five hospitals serving rural New York State.
This pilot program will culminate in summer of 2018 with 1) a national webinar to share results and lessons learned and 2) an online Toolkit for medical professionals complete with safe drug disposal information and tools they can use to educate their patients to properly remove leftover drugs from their homes. NYPSC will also help hospitals that wish to continue collecting drugs transition into NYS DEC’s program or take over their own program.