Senate Passes Cornyn-Klobuchar Bill For Safe Disposal Of Medication, USA

Aug 5th, 2010 | By healthnews | Category: Health

Main Category: Pharmacy / Pharmacist
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 04 Aug 2010 – 14:00 PDT

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The Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) that would give consumers a safe and responsible way to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Consumers currently seeking to reduce the amount of expired or unwanted prescription drugs in their homes have few disposal options, increasing the risk that teenagers or drug abusers will gain access to them. The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 seeks to reduce that risk by permitting individuals to deliver their unused medications to responsible state and private drug take-back programs. The bill also authorizes long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ unused medications.

“Unused and unwanted medication create a health hazard, but federal law currently prohibits people from giving their old medication to established drug take-back programs,” Cornyn said. “As a result, unused medication is often diverted by drug abusers or improperly flushed into our water system. This cost-free and common-sense bill will allow state and private entities to institute responsible drug take-back programs. I am glad to work with Senator Klobuchar on this important bill, and I am pleased that it has the support of 41 state attorneys general, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Justice.”

“Parents know that keeping unwanted prescription drugs in their homes increases the risk that young people will find them, but current law provides them with few alternatives,” Klobuchar said. “By making it easier for people to dispose of controlled substances they no longer need, we can reduce teens’ access to these drugs and help curb teen drug abuse.”

Up to 17 percent of prescribed medication goes unused, and if improperly disposed, may contribute to drug diversion and environmental problems. The bill would allow consumers to give controlled substances to specially designated individuals for disposal, such as law enforcement officials. It also would allow long-term care facilities to dispose of certain prescription drugs on behalf of their residents.

Teenagers now abuse prescription drugs more than any other illegal drug except for marijuana, and the majority of teens who abuse these drugs get them for free, usually from friends and relatives and often without their knowledge.

The legislation is supported by 41 state attorneys general, and cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Herb Kohl (D-WI), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Agriculture and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

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