(Albany, NY) – New York State Senator Chris Jacobs, Co-Chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Heroin & Opioid Addiction, announced the passage of a bill establishing a statewide drug take back program designed to dramatically reduce the supply and availability of unused prescription opioids. Known as the “Drug Take Back Act”, the legislation has also been approved by the State Assembly and will now go to the Governor for his signature before becoming law.
“The first and easiest supply of opioids for people suffering with addiction is often leftover medication from family and friends,” said Senator Jacobs. “To cut off this supply, we must make the take back and disposal of these drugs more prominent and more accessible, and the provisions of the Drug Take Back Act will help us accomplish that.”
The Act requires manufacturers of covered drugs to submit drug take back plans for approval by the New York State Department of Health, or enter into an agreement with DOH to operate one on their behalf. Manufacturers will be responsible for the costs associated with the program, including collecting, transporting and disposing of covered drugs and their packing materials.
The Act also requires chain and mail order pharmacies to facilitate the collection of the covered drugs by providing consumers with on-site collection, prepaid mail-back envelopes, or other federal Drug Enforcement Agency approved methods. In addition to getting excess drugs out of home environments where they are more easily abused, the Drug Take Back Act will also help ensure these medications are not disposed of in a manner that is harmful to waterways or the environment.
Jacobs, who has worked closely with local law enforcement agencies to sponsor numerous “Shed the Meds” prescription drop off programs, said the idea for this new statewide program came from the many hearings that the Heroin and Opioid Task Force conducted around the state over the last year.
“This bill employs a very effective concept known as product stewardship, where manufacturers take responsibility for all stages of their products life cycle,” said Jacobs. “We must be more aggressive and proactive in reducing the supply of these addictive and deadly drugs, and I firmly believe this model will enable us to do so,” the Senator concluded.