Senate Passes Drug Disposal Bill with NACDS-backed Approach

Senate Passes Drug Disposal Bill with NACDS-backed Approach
Legislation addresses health, safety, law enforcement concerns
Alexandria, Va. - The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today commended the U.S. Senate's passage of drug disposal legislation as a victory for a pro-consumer, pro-law-enforcement, pro-environment and pro-pharmacy approach to the issue.
The Senate passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, S. 3397, authored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), by voice vote on August 3.
Importantly, the legislation reflects an approach advocated by NACDS through which pharmacies and other entities will be able to work with consumers and law enforcement to safely dispose of unused drugs, rather than imposing a requirement that such entities establish a drug disposal program, such as a "take back" program.
"NACDS commends Senator Klobuchar and the Senate Judiciary Committee for moving forward in a way that will help consumers dispose of their unused medications, without creating unintended consequences that jeopardize health and safety and that encourage illegal drug diversion," said NACDS President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE.
NACDS also has advocated for this flexible approach in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) successfully sponsored an amendment to the Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2010, H.R. 5809, advanced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, that would prevent regulations that require a drug disposal program.
"NACDS supports efforts to find a safe and effective means for consumers to dispose of their unused medications, including controlled substances. We believe these programs must be structured to protect public health and safety and preserve the integrity of the drug distribution supply chain," Anderson said.
NACDS notes that drug "take back" programs can raise health and safety concerns, since they involve pharmacies' accepting previously-dispensed prescription drugs that have left the secure drug distribution system. These products could be contaminated with infectious diseases or other hazardous substances, which jeopardize the public, pharmacy personnel and other products, including drugs or food.
NACDS vowed to continue to work with members of Congress as these pieces of legislation continue through the legislative process.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents 154 traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies - from regional chains with four stores to national companies. NACDS members also include more than 900 pharmacy and front-end suppliers, and over 70 international members from 24 countries. Chains operate 37,000 pharmacies, and employ more than 2.5 million employees, including 118,000 full-time pharmacists. They fill more than 2.5 billion prescriptions annually, which is more than 72 percent of annual prescriptions in the United States. The total economic impact of all retail stores with pharmacies transcends their $815 billion in annual sales. Every $1 spent in these stores creates a ripple effect of $3.82 in other industries, for a total economic impact of $3.11 trillion, equal to 26 percent of GDP. For more information about NACDS, visit
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National Assoc. of Chain Drug Stores, 413 North Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 United States