Tuesday, October 18, 2011

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day October 29

Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals stand united in support of medication take-back programs, such as the DEA’s take-back event on Saturday, October 29, as the safest and most responsible way to dispose of old and leftover medicines.  Take-back programs are one way to prevent youth prescription drug abuse.

In our community, the North Precinct will be collecting unused medications on October 29, 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. as part of the DEA's national take-back day.  Other Seattle Police precincts are also participating.  In addition to these one-day drop-off sites, local Bartell Drugs and Group Health sites take back medicines all of the time.

In Washington State, the Take Back Your Meds Coalition is advocating for a permanent, state-wide take-back program.  Drug manufacturers are in a unique position to take responsibility and pay for take-back programs as a cost of doing business, just as they already do in other countries. For a couple of pennies per prescription or bottle of cold pills, drug companies could finance and provide a safe ongoing medicine take-back system for our state.

In Olympia, big PHARMA has worked hard to dodge taking responsibility. Sadly, pressure from PHARMA stalled action in the WA Legislature last year. Luckily, this year our representatives again have a chance to pass a bill to create a state wide medicine take-back system by requiring companies selling medicines in the state to provide the program as part of doing business.

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