Senator Kemp Hannon
6th District New York
Hannon Drug 'Take Back' Bill for Pharmacies passed by Senate


Authorizes pharmacies to take back controlled substances


“Current federal rules required controlled substances to be surrendered to law enforcement agencies.  Recognizing the need for increased avenues to disposal in order to get excess drugs off the street, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has proposed rules to allow pharmacies to administer mail-back programs and maintain drug collection boxes,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau).  “This legislation, aligned with federal changes, will permit pharmacies, in addition to law enforcement agencies, to collect controlled substances.”


Hannon’s legislation, Senate bill 3944, encourages disposal of unused medications  and increases methods of disposal, resulting in less drugs being available for misuse.  In implementing the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, the federal DEA  published proposed regulations for disposing of controlled substance prescription drugs in December of 2012.  Those proposed regulations seek to expand options for drug disposal through take-back events, mail-back programs and collection box locations.  Among other things, these provisions would allow retail pharmacies to administer mail-back programs and maintain collection boxes.  This bill ensures that state law authorizes necessary, safe and permissible methods of disposal.


“According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70% of controlled substance prescription abusers get their drugs from a family member or friend,” said Hannon.  “This highlights the need for New York to be proactive in getting unused, excess meds out of medicine cabinets and into the proper hands for disposal.”


This bill ensures that upon adoption of federal regulations permitting this, the Department of Health shall permit pharmacy take-back programs.


This legislation has been passed by both the Senate and Assembly, and await action by the Governor.

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