Statewide drug take back program clears House (02/10/2018 Herald article)

Statewide drug take back program clears House

A bill was approved to give every community a safe way to dispose of unused medications.

OLYMPIA — Washington moved a step closer Friday to establishing the nation’s first statewide drug take-back program paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.

In overwhelming fashion, the state House approved a bill to ensure people in every community will have a safe and convenient way to dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Under House Bill 1047, manufacturers of drugs sold in Washington must submit a program to the state Department of Health by July 2019 to provide a collection system that is “safe, secure and convenient” on a year-round basis. It requires a collection site in every population center and, in larger cities, one per 50,000 residents.

As envisioned, the program will be well-promoted and use “readily recognizable receptacles.” The legislation calls for the program to end in 2029 unless reauthorized by the Legislature..