A new front has opened in the fight to make the pharma industry responsible for disposing of unused meds, this time in New York.
State senators have filed the “Drug Take Back Act,” which instead of being aimed directly at drugmakers, would require chain and mail-order pharmacies to establish federally approved disposal systems for consumers, the New York Daily News reports. Those might include on-site disposal or prepaid mail-back envelopes.
Republican State Sen. Kemp Hannon, one of the bill’s sponsors, said that since some drug addictions start with leftover meds, “cutting off that supply is essential,” the Daily News reported.
While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated he was open to any idea that would fight opioid addiction, the pharmaceutical lobbying group PhRMA took its standard position in opposition.
“Implementing new and costly mandated take-back programs are not the solution to proper medicine disposal and will not address prescription drug abuse,” PhRMA spokesperson Priscilla VanderVeer told the newspaper.
PhRMA has fended off some efforts in other states, sometimes with litigation. The industry has fought a legal battle with Alameda County, California, for years over a law requiring drugmakers to pay for a recycling program there.