Congress gets started on drug-takeback program

Drugmakers will soon be adding another link to their supply chains if the U.S. House of Representatives has its way. The Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act aims to create a program in which pharma makers will have to take back unused meds.

H.R. 2939, The Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act of 2011, concerns the safe disposal of medicines. Recent reports of drugs found in streams, being discharged by wastewater treatment plants and by pharma plants themselves, have raised the issue to the level of concern to Congress.

Under the Act, a nonprofit organization financed by drugmakers would be responsible for state drug take-back programs, reports Healthcare Packaging. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Rules, is sponsoring the bill. The bill "would help solve this [sic] serious environmental, public health and public safety concerns by providing Americans with a convenient way to safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs," she said in a release.

The bill has been referred to committee.

- see the story
- here's the release
- see the bill overview
- and the bill