Consumers Need Safe Disposal Options, Not Mandates

Consumers Need Safe Disposal Options, Not Mandates

07.10.14 | By Kaelan Hollon

Today, Mark Chenoweth of Washington Legal Foundation published a great blog in Forbes (and a similar LTE in San Francisco Chronicle) about upcoming oral arguments for our litigation in Alameda County regarding safe disposal. Mark is an avid hiker, and makes a strong point that the unnecessary bureaucratic programs are attempting to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. From Mark's Forbes blog:

"Whether minuscule water-supply contamination by pharmaceuticals poses a genuine threat is something even the World Health Organization doubts.  But skepticism aside, a drug take-back program cannot fix the supposed problem. 

 

"Even if no medicines went unused, municipally treated water supplies would still contain tiny, barely detectable quantities of pharmaceuticals, because 90% or more of drugs pass through a patient before being flushed down the toilet.  Less than 10% are flushed as leftovers."

Having grown up in an area besieged by prescription drug abuse, I'm intimately familiar with the importance of reducing chances for diversion of prescription medicine.  In-home disposal addresses the very real need to get rid of unused and expired medication immediately, without pushing any cost onto consumers or companies located out of state (or adding an extra errand onto people's schedules).

Don't get me wrong --  there are some great take back programs that are helpful to communities and provide local law enforcement a chance to educate about safe medicine use. But we need to start talking about the variety of safe disposal options to consumers that can make their lives easier and safer, and stop turning the issue of drug safety into a political soapbox and consumer mandate.

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