OLYMPIA—The pharmaceutical companies say it's too expensive but supporters of a bill to create a "drug
take-back" program say we can't afford not to have one. It’s down to the wire in Olympia, where
the fate of this bill will be determined by Monday evening.
Clearing out the medicine cabinet- thousands of us did it during a drug take-back event in
August, but Senator Adam Kline believes the drug manufacturers should be the one's doing it,
on a daily basis.
“When you produce a product that's potentially dangerous, or dangerous to the environment, You have a responsibility to take it back, destroy it, and at least keep it out of environment.”
Kline has until Monday night to push for the passage of Senate Bill 5234. It would require the
pharmacy industry to devise a plan to safely dispose of drugs.
“Victoria B.C has a system where they truck them out, and the state of Maine has a system where by you go to pharmacy, get prescription and get a mail back envelope. It’s all pre-paid, it’s addressed to the warehouse, where they keep these things before they put them in a hazmat incinerator.”
The purpose- so prescription pills don't wind up in the wrong hands, like criminals or
teenagers. Rebecca Runyon’s son, Tyler, got a hold of his grandfather’s pills.
“ I looked at my son, he was purple and he was blue and I said what did you guys take?”
Her son and his two friends were rushed to the hospital in Granite Falls. Tyler did not survive.
In his honor, Rebecca has testified in Olympia for the bill.
A bill that pharmaceutical lobbyists say is simply too expensive, and may not even work.
But Kline says we can’t afford not to have it.
Senator Kline says the pharmaceutical companies would pass the cost of the disposal program
onto consumers. He anticipates it would increase prescription drugs costs by just a few cents.
The anticipated cost of the program he adds, is about two-hundred 50 thousand dollars. He
says that’s a fraction of the four billion dollars pharmaceutical giants make each year.
We reached out to the pharmaceutical industry to discuss the issue, but a company
representative said... No one was available to talk today.