Proposed State Law
Legislation was introduced in Washington in 2011 and is carried forward into the 2012 session to create a statewide medicine take-back program paid for by drug companies that is convenient for residents throughout the state. Leftover medicines will be securely collected and safely disposed to help reduce access to drugs, reduce risks of poisonings, and reduce environmental contamination. Although many legislators supported this legislation, the powerful pharmaceutical industry thwarted efforts to pass legislation in 2011 that would protect our families, our children and the environment.
Community demand for take-back is great. Over 160,000 pounds have been securely collected and safely disposed at temporary locations in Washington State in just a few years with little advertising. Narcotics and other controlled substances are temporarily being collected at some law enforcement offices in a few counties. We need drug take-back in all 39 counties, not just a few.
The proposed law would have provided permanent funding from drug companies for a statewide medicine take-back program. Even though they provide take-back programs for other countries, drug companies used an army of lobbyists to fight against the bill. For a couple of pennies per container of medicine sold in the state, drug companies could expand this important service statewide and relieve the financial burden on local governments, retailers and taxpayers.
Over 270 organizations fight to protect our kids, families and the environment by supporting passage of the legislation.
Learn more about how community groups, law enforcement, local governments, pharmacies, health professionals, environmental groups and other organizations can help.
Read about recent federal law changes that support creation of a statewide program in Washington.
For information about future legislative initiatives on medicine take-back, email .
View summary of 2011/2012 Washington State secure medicine take-back legislation.
Link to 2011/2012 bill information on the Washington Legislature web site:
SB 5234 - Senate version / HB 1370 - House version