Drug Take-Back Bill Amended To Make Requirements Voluntary
A California bill (SB 1014) that would have required the pharmaceutical industry to create and fund a statewide system to safely dispose of leftover medications has been amended by its author to make those requirements voluntary, the San Francisco Business Times' "BiotechSF" reports.
Details of Bill
State Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) -- the bill's sponsor -- said that up to 50% of prescription and over-the-counter medications end up thrown in the garbage, flushed down the toilet or left sitting in households unused, which can enable misuse.
The bill originally called for drugmakers to submit by July 2015 a plan for the collection and disposal of unused prescription medications. Jackson estimated that the original bill would have cost drug manufacturers about $6 million annually.
However, the bill largely was opposed by the pharmaceutical industry. Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said that the proposed drug take-back sites could pose a greater risk than prescription medications being stored in households.
Changes to Bill
Jackson amended the measure to make the drug take-back guidelines voluntary after it faced potential failure in the state Senate's Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.
Jackson said the change will enable discussions about drug take-back sites to continue.
She noted that "local communities are passing their own take-back initiatives," adding, "We hope that when (drugmakers are) faced with 50 different sets of rules and regulations that the industry will want one uniform, statewide system."
Jackson said she plans to reintroduce efforts during the next legislative session to make drug take-back sites mandatory statewide, adding, "I'm going to keep bringing this bill back to get (the drug industry) to the table" (Leuty, "BiotechSF," San Francisco Business Times, 5/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.