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DEA Proposes New Regulations to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed new regulations to give the public more options for disposing of unwanted prescription drugs, such as painkillers and sedatives.

The new rules are designed to reduce the amount of highly abused prescription drugs on the streets, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The DEA wants law enforcement agencies and pharmacies to maintain collection boxes for certain medications. The agency also recommends implementing mail-back programs to safely dispose of the drugs.

Under the proposed rules, for the first time, groups outside of law enforcement would be allowed to collect unused drugs for disposal, the article notes. According to a DEA news release, the proposal would allow authorized retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection boxes at long-term care facilities. The DEA also calls for continued use of prescription drug “take-back” events.

The public can comment on the proposed regulations until February 19. Congress subsequently will vote on the measure.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Louise Fleming
    Louise Fleming / January 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I am a member of a Citizen Action Group for Prescription Drug Abuse. I totally support the idea of 24-hour collection boxes. Someone who wants to get rid of an old or unwanted prescription needs to do it now or it’s too easy to either forget or change his/her mind. I hope pharmacies will all have these.

  2. Avatar of Ray
    Ray / January 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Bucks County, PA has a highly successful Drug Take Back Program. This program utilizes a genuinely unique process which included colaboration including county agencies, local coalitions and the DEA. The program has recieved rocognition from the DEA, CADCA as well as the state and federal governement.

  3. Avatar of Jennifer Los
    Jennifer Los / January 4, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Please include an article on how to actually dispose of prescription drugs safely. How does LE or pharmacies, etc. actually dispose of meds that does not harm the environment?

  4. Avatar of MAPC
    MAPC / January 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    They do it through incineration in EPA certified incinerators.

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