Haggerty bill would require drug take-back boxes at pharmacies

HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Kevin Haggerty has introduced legislation that would require retail community pharmacies to install and maintain a drug collection receptacle on-site, which would help to curb the accessibility of unused opioids across Pennsylvania.

In 2014, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration established regulations allowing authorized pharmacies to collect controlled substances by voluntarily administering mail-back programs and maintaining drug collection receptacles.

“While this was a step in the right direction, far too few pharmacies have taken it upon themselves to fully utilize this option by installing and maintaining drug collection receptacles,” Haggerty said.

“Medications that are no longer being used can make their way into the hands of young people when stored in accessible areas around the home, such as medicine cabinets. My legislation would address this by broadening the availability of drug collection receptacles statewide, therefore making it easier for people to dispose of unwanted and unused medications.”

Haggerty said similar legislation requiring retail pharmacies to install and maintain a drug collection receptacle has been introduced in New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.

“It is sensible that Pennsylvania require retail community pharmacies that dispense medications to also accept these medications for disposal. The opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across our state and this is an easy step that we can take, along with others, to help put an end to the suffering being experienced by so many people,” Haggerty said.