[Pharmwaste] A badly flawed pharmaceutical take-back bill may become state law

Jeff Hollar jhollar at pwaste.com
Thu Aug 24 17:31:24 EDT 2017


In Alberta, Canada the take back program is funded by the Alberta
Pharmacists' Association.  In 2014, they collected over 71 metric tons.

 

Full story link:
http://lethbridgeherald.com/commentary/letters-to-the-editor/2017/08/24/retu
rn-unused-meds-to-your-pharmacist/

 

Jeff Hollar

President

PharmWaste Technologies, Inc.

4164 NW Urbandale Dr., Ste A

Urbandale, IA 50322

515-276-5302 (general)

515-331-7310 (direct)

515-360-9785 (cell)

www.pwaste.com <http://www.pwaste.com/> 

 

 

From: Pharmwaste [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf
Of Ed Gottlieb
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 4:06 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us;
Pretreatment_Coordinators at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Pharmwaste] A badly flawed pharmaceutical take-back bill may
become state law

 

Any day now, a seriously flawed New York State chain pharmacy take-back bill
could be signed into law.
<https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/a387/amendment/b>
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/a387/amendment/b
It would do a poor job of providing convenient take-back and who pays for it
is wrong.  

This could be the leading edge of a wave of state bills that shield
manufactures from any responsibility for the collection and disposal of
their unwanted products.  To prevent this, we need to take action!
(Suggestions highlighted below.)  
  
The bill requires pharmacies with 10 or more stores in the state to offer
take-back options (plural in the NY bill).  Pharmacies could choose among
any legal method, including:  mail-back, home disposal products, collection
events (no frequency specified), and kiosks.  

It appears that the original Senate version of the bill required that all
take-back be free to consumers.  It was amended to allow the pharmacies to
pass on 100% of the cost of mail-back envelopes to consumers.  The final
version, amended by the Assembly, allows them to pass on up to $2 of the
cost of mail-back envelopes to consumers, with other take-back options
remaining free.  Does your inner cynic wonder, as mine does, if the change
from "free" to "pay 100% for mail-back" was a bait and switch to get the
support of legislators?

My interpretation of the bill is that it would be easy for chain pharmacies
to comply with the law.  They could sell small take-back envelopes for $2
and sponsor a once-a-year collection event.  When I spoke with
representatives of a couple of chain pharmacies, they were supportive of the
compromise version because it releases them from having to install kiosks,
which take more effort and are seen as a liability risk (something EPR bills
need to address!).  

 

The bill does nothing to increase take-back in rural areas without a chain
pharmacy.    

 

The bill also preempts local law, so existing EPR laws will be struck down.
This totally relieves manufactures of any responsibility to organize or pay
for take-back and puts the full burden on chain pharmacies and consumers. 
   

If you don't live in NY and want to see an effective pharmaceutical EPR law
in your community or state, or don't want to see your local EPR law
disappear, please educate state legislators about EPR now.* If they don't
get the facts, a state chain pharmacy bill will probably look like a good
compromise solution.

If you are a New Yorker, please ask Governor Cuomo to veto A.387-B, the
chain pharmacy take-back bill.  It could be sent to his desk for a signature
any time, so contact him right away!  He will have to hear from many of us
to consider a veto, the bill had strong, bipartisan support.  

Talking points:     

.        This bill is a give-away to the pharmaceutical manufactures,
relieving them of any responsibility for the collection and disposal of
their unwanted product.  Chain pharmacies and consumers will have to pay for
take-back.

.         It fails to provide effective take-back of unwanted household
medications.  

o    Charging $2 for a small mail-back envelope is a strong disincentive to
participate.  

o    Many rural communities are not served by chain pharmacies.  This bill
does nothing for them.

.         Without convenient take-back options, medicine cabinets will
continue to fuel the opioid addiction crisis, accidental poisonings, and
environmental contamination.

.         It preempts any local law related to take-back.  Rockland County's
extended producer responsibility (EPR) law, will no longer be valid.
Similar bills, including those under consideration in Erie and Westchester
Counties, will be moot.  The only reason for preemption is to ensure that
manufactures won't have to pay.  

.         MA & VT, along with many municipalities, have passed
pharmaceutical EPR laws.  NY should improve upon those models and take the
lead on this important public health issue!

Contact Governor Cuomo's office by phone:   <tel:15184748390> 1-518-474-8390
Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Web form:  <https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form>
https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

Write: 
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

* Here are a couple of links to information on EPR:

 <http://www.productstewardship.us/?page=GoToGuide>
http://www.productstewardship.us/?page=GoToGuide

 <http://calpsc.org/products/pharmaceuticals/>
http://calpsc.org/products/pharmaceuticals/

Thanks for speaking out!

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Board Member, New York Product Stewardship Council
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433

 

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