A statewide proposal for pharmaceutical take-back has been introduced in the Pennsylvania state legislature.
House Bill 2466 was referred to the Assembly Health Committee on June 12. Introduced by State Representative John Hornaman, the bill would provide free take-back of unused and unwanted pharmaceuticals.
Citing environmental and human health issues when these medications are improperly disposed of, the bill states that
"The costs of properly collecting and disposing of leftover and expired medicines should be included in the manufacturer's business costs and the manufacturers of the medicines are best positioned to efficiently develop and operate programs for the safe and convenient collection and disposal of unused medicines."
The bill requires manufacturers to provide at least one collection site per county, adding more for counties with populations of 100,001 or greater. Counties with over 1 million people should provide at least four collection sites. Mail back options are also required, and the manufacturers must review and submit their plans to the Department of Health.
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Improperly disposed pharmaceuticals can lead to accidental poisonings or drug abuse and addictions. In addition, they end up polluting our waterways. According to a study conducted by the United States Geological Survey, 80% of our streams have traceable amounts of hormones, steroids, and other drugs.