Monday, January 14, 2019

NY Drug Take Back Law goes into effect

Europe has Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations, making manufacturers responsible for their products at the end-of-life. Toaster ovens to BMWs. That created incentives for manufacturers to design products that last and components that could be reused. It also drove systems for  recovering these materials.

The US watered the concept down to Extended Product Responsibility (also EPR but the responsibility is shared among stakeholders...leaving it less clear who should pay.) Think of electronics recycling in the US; consumers often have to pay, creating another little hurdle for doing the right thing. Of course, even with the European EPR, the cost of these programs likely get included to some degree into the price of the product but making collection “free” to the consumer eliminates a psychological barrier.

New York State has passed an EU-style EPR regulation for left-over drugs which sometimes get into the wrong hands or get flushed down the toilet, polluting our waterways.

The Drug Take Back Act will help give manufacturers of pharmaceutical products responsibility for costs of the take-back program, with focal points being public education and awareness, as well as drug collection, transport, and destruction. Under this new law, chain and mail-order pharmacies will be required to provide consumers with collection options, including drop boxes and prepaid mail-back envelopes. The measure will also ensure rural, urban, and other underserved communities have access to ongoing collection services so that all persons have reasonable access to locations to dispose of their drugs and prevent over-saturation in higher populated areas.

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