GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS INTO LAW ONE OF OUR NATION’S STRONGEST DRUG...
Albany, NY—Today Governor Cuomo signed the Drug Take Back Act (S.9100 – Hannon / A.9576B – Gunther) into law, after having been passed unanimously by the Senate and Assembly at the end of the legislative session. The law establishes a robust, statewide program to provide the public with free and convenient safe disposal options for leftover pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, rather than the taxpayers, will foot the entire bill for implementing the program. Chain pharmacies will be required to provide free drug take-back for customers, while other authorized collectors (e.g. independent pharmacies, local law enforcement) have the option of participating.
In response to the bill’s passage, Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE), said:
“We thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Hannon, Assemblywoman Gunther, and the entire legislature for working in a bipartisan manner to pass this critical public health and environmental protection measure into law. This landmark law makes New York a national leader in addressing the opioid crisis and protecting our waters from pharmaceutical pollution. New York State has stood up for clean water, public health, and New York taxpayers over the special interests of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry. The cost to the pharmaceutical industry will be negligible—communities that have passed similar laws estimated a cost of just a couple pennies per prescription.
This legislation will ensure that all New Yorkers have convenient access to safe drug disposal options. Making safe disposal options accessible to the public will reduce the harmful and antiquated practice of flushing unwanted drugs. Drugs that are flushed are polluting waters from the Great Lakes to Long Island Sound, threatening aquatic life, water quality, and drinking water. We know that the public will participate in safe disposal programs. King Kullen on Long Island has provided drop boxes for unwanted prescription drugs at 11 of their grocery stores that include pharmacies. This program has safely disposed of 9800 pounds of drugs in three years.
More than 2,000 people in New York die annually from opioid overdose, and 70% of people that abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family. Safe drug disposal options will help save lives by getting leftover prescription drugs out of household medicine cabinets, where they are often stockpiled and abused.”
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