[Pharmwaste] USFWS updating medicine disposal guidance - response to comment letter

Lucy, Burke Burke.Lucy at CalRecycle.ca.gov
Mon May 14 20:53:53 EDT 2012

It appears that the SMARxT Disposal website (http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/) no longer has the video or language only saying throw pharmaceutical waste in the trash (which it had last week).  They've added, "Take advantage of community drug take-back programs..." which is now in line with the U.S. DEA, EPA, FDA, and White House ONDCP policy.  Thanks to Margaret Shields for spearheading the sign-on letter to the USFWS for getting that process going.

Last Week                                                                                                     Today
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From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Shield, Margaret
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:11 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] USFWS updating medicine disposal guidance - response to comment letter

Greetings.  In early November I shared with this listserv a comment letter sent to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service explaining concerns about the SMARxT medicine disposal program, a collaboration between USFWS, APhA, and PhRMA.  That comment letter had more than fifty signatories representing local agencies, law enforcement, elected officials, and individuals who encouraged USFWS to bring their medicine disposal guidance in line with other federal agencies that recommend use of medicine take-back programs.  Additional comment letters were sent in by individual agencies and organizations.

Good news: the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has responded positively to address our concerns.  See the attached response. USFWS says they will be updating the program to encourage the use of medicine take-back programs, stating:

"Given these developments and the fact the Administration has elevated the medication disposal issue as a public health concern, we are bringing the SMARxT Disposal campaign up-to-date with the current guidance and encourage the use of medicine take-back programs where available, while clarifying that disposal of unwanted medicines in the household trash is a transitional measure until drug take-back systems are available to all communities."

We hope to see that updated guidance on the SMARxT website and materials soon.  This change will provide clearer, consistent information to consumers about safe disposal of leftover medicines.

Thanks to all who worked on this!

Margaret Shield PhD, Policy Liaison
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County
130 Nickerson Street, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98109-1658
(w) 206-263-3059

Protect Our Kids, Families, and Environment - www.TakeBackYourMeds.org<http://www.TakeBackYourMeds.org>

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