Oregon Supports Safe Drug Take-Back
Representative Mitch Greenlick, Chair
House Committee on Health Care
State Capitol
Salem, Oregon

RE: HB 2386 and HB 2645, Establishing a Drug Take-Back Program

Dear Chair Greenlick,

Thank you for holding a public hearing on this important issue. We appreciate the leadership that you and Representative Malstrom have shown on this issue. BRING strongly supports the concept that pharmaceutical companies should be responsible for establishing a secure medicine take-back program.

Extended Producer Responsibility for medicine is the best way to deal with unused prescription and over the counter drugs. Oregon’s groundbreaking Bottle Bill, the Oregon E-Cycles program, and our state’s Paint Care program demonstrate the overwhelming success of producer-funded stewardship laws governing the safe disposal of products. A similar drug take-back program will cost approximately 0.1 percent of annual statewide medicine sales.

30 percent of the medicines we purchase go unused for various reasons. A safe statewide take-back program will protect public health by reducing accidental overdoses, keeping pharmaceutical drugs out of the hands of children, and reducing the illicit market for opiate painkillers and other prescriptions.

Improper drug disposal is an environmental hazard. Research shows that pharmaceutical chemicals commonly find their way from landfill leachate into wastewater treatment facilities and then into waterways. Because local agencies do not test for the presence of pharmaceutical drugs in our state’s waterways, officials recommend coordinated prescription drug disposal to keep drugs out of Oregon’s water.

The public hearing was an important first step and we urge you to schedule a work session to keep this concept alive. We believe that there will be strong bipartisan support for either of these bills.

Thank you,

Carolyn Stein,
Executive Director,
BRING

Cc:
House Speaker Tina Kotek
Representative Sheri Malstrom

Please add your name to the letter to show support for H.B. 2386 and H.B. 2645
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