Tuesday, May 7, 2013

King County Board of Health to hold public hearing on proposed medicine return policy

Your voice is needed!

Public Hearing:
Establishing a King County Medicine Return Program

King County Board of Health Meeting
Thursday, May 16, 1:30 p.m.
King County Courthouse, 10th Floor
516 Third Avenue, Seattle

In 2012, the King County Board of Health established a subcommittee to explore how it can support the safe disposal of unused and unwanted medications. With prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings on the rise in King County, an ongoing, county-wide medicine return program funded by producers is part of a comprehensive prevention strategy.

What is being proposed?
The Board of Health subcommittee is proposing that the producers of medicines fund and implement a county-wide secure medicine return program at pharmacies and law enforcement agencies using a product stewardship model. A product stewardship model recognizes that everyone involved in the lifespan of medications has a responsibility to reduce its health and safety impacts. For producers, this includes planning and paying for the disposal of medicines at the end of their useful life.

What is this public hearing all about?
During the May 16, 2013 Board of Health meeting, individuals are encouraged to provide 2-minute testimony about the subcommittee’s proposal to establish a permanent medicine return program. The hearing will provide Board of Health members with information about why such a program is important for reducing youth prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings.

How can I testify?
Show up at the Board of Health meeting on May 16 and sign in as a speaker. Individuals and organizations in favor of the proposed policy are coordinating so that we may take full advantage of the limited time each speaker has.

Can’t make the hearing?
Contact the Board of Health and tell them you support the establishment of a medicine return program. Comments should be submitted to the Board of Health, Attn: Maria Wood at maria.wood@kingcounty.gov.

Why is a take-back program needed?
Visit the King County Take Back Your Meds coalition webpage for information about the prescription drug abuse problem and the need for a comprehensive prevention strategy including a permanent medicine take back program.

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