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Legislative Memo

Lev Ginsburg
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.694.4462
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.6673 (Hannon) / A.8426 (Gunther)

Support

SUBJECT:

Drug Take-Back Web-Listing

 

DATE:

April 27, 2018

 

The Business Council supports S.6673 (Hannon) / A.8426 (Gunther) which would direct the Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to establish a statewide web-listing of drug disposal sites, events and other disposal options in the state.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 marks the 15th time in eight years that New York has participated in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, when New Yorkers can and are encouraged to dispose of their medications at one of 217 participating locations across the state, which can be found online using an online collection site locator tool.  This bill would help enhance the number of return options and essentially make every day Prescription Drug Take Back Day in New York.

Since 2014, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has provided a number of options for consumer disposal of unused controlled substances. Under DEA regulations, entities which are DEA registered and authorized, may voluntarily establish programs for safe disposal of controlled substances. The DEA, recognizing the diversity of circumstances and needs among participants, allows for a variety of programs including mail-back, take-back events, as well as collection bins.

In addition to a variety of voluntary programs, law enforcement based programs and others, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation runs a Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program, funded through the Environmental Protection Fund, where DEC purchases medication collection boxes and pays for the disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years.

The disposal of superfluous opioids is an important issue and we are encouraged by the vast participation in the DEA’s voluntary take back program among pharmacies and others across the state – this voluntary program works quite well.  The DEA's New York Division alone, collected over 21.4 tons of discarded prescription drugs from designated collection sites last October. This bill is a common sense, cost-effective way to enhance current programs, aiding New Yorkers in finding and utilizing take-back programs.

For these reasons, The Business Council encourages passage of S.6673 (Hannon) / A.8426 (Gunther).