Capitol Report by Allen Andrews
July 13, 2018
Three pieces of legislation approved by the General Assembly this year contain a provision meant to help fight the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. The change to state law will expand Missouri’s drug take back program so that Missourians are more easily able to dispose of their unwanted prescription medications.
The provision contained in all three bills, which have been signed into law, will make it easier to discard unfinished prescriptions year-round by dropping them off at authorized sites such as pharmacies. Without the change, Missouri pharmacies would be barred from taking prescriptions they did not dispense.
Specifically, the provision allows unused controlled substances to be accepted from the public through collection receptacles, drug disposal boxes, and other means provided through drug take back programs by a drug enforcement agency authorized collector in accordance with federal regulations, regardless of whether or not the authorized collector originally dispensed the drug.
The act also requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop an education and awareness program about drug disposal by August 28, 2019. The program will be a web-based resource that describes available drug disposal options, provides a list of take back sites, and provides a list of take back events.
Supporters say the bill will help get prescription drugs off the street. They say the goal is to allow collection in as many places as possible to make it easy for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Supporters also note there are pharmacies that would like to set up collection boxes but were prevented by Missouri law from accepting unused medication that was not originally dispensed by them.
As always, it is an honor to serve you.
Allen Andrews, State Representative – District 1, Missouri State Capitol, 201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65101; Telephone: (573) 751-9465; Allen.Andrews@house.mo.gov.