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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2021 12:39 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Drug Take Back and Disposal by Pharmacies
The misuse of controlled substances continues to be a serious public health problem in the United States. Individuals who misuse prescription medications, such as opioids and central nervous system depressants, are often able to acquire them from another person’s medicine cabinet. We can help prevent prescription medications from falling into the wrong hands by expanding the options for Pennsylvanians to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or expired medications.

In 2014, the United States Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration expanded registrants authorized to establish collection sites for controlled substances to include pharmacies. However, Pennsylvania law only provides for law enforcement facilities to establish collection sites. Pharmacies are safe and convenient locations for the disposal of unused prescription medications, and many individuals are likely to be more comfortable using a pharmacy rather than a law enforcement facility as a collection site. Therefore, I will shortly be introducing legislation to codify the federal regulation into state law allowing for the collection and proper disposal of controlled substances by pharmacies within Pennsylvania.

As some of the most trusted and most widely accessibly health resources – and dispensers of prescription medications - our pharmacies are often on the front lines of the Commonwealth’s opioid crisis. By expanding the options for Pennsylvanians to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or expired medications, we can further prevent the misuse and diversion of prescription drugs.

I ask you to join me in allowing pharmacies to provide this vital service and support their essential role in protecting the health of the communities they serve. 

Introduced as HB752