Today, Congressman David McKinley (WV-01) introduced a resolution to promote drug takeback programs with Congressman David Trone (MD-06). The resolution would encourage state and local governments to use a portion of proceeds from any litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors to increase participation in drug take back programs. These programs facilitate the safe disposal of unused medications.
"Safe disposal of prescription drugs is a common-sense step to reduce drug abuse and take back programs have proven to be successful." Rep. McKinley said "The easier it is to participate; the more people will do it. Statistics show that most prescription drug abuse starts with pills from family and friends, including home medicine cabinets. Clearing out unused medicine makes a big difference. Using money paid in settlement by opioid manufacturers and distributors keeps taxpayers from funding these programs and puts the cost where it belongs."
"Ensuring the correct disposal of prescription drugs will help get these substances out of the home and save lives," said Rep. Trone. "It's important that we use funds from these opioid litigation settlements to encourage participation in initiatives like drug disposal bins and drug take-back programs that help prevent the use of opioids other than as prescribed and save lives."
"Prescription drugs, left unused and unattended in households, can be a disaster for people with a substance use disorder. Approximately 42% of prescribed medicines are unused by the patients they were prescribed for, and drug take backs are vital to removing these drugs from homes and disposing of them in a responsible way," said Jenny Burke, Senior Director at the National Safety Council.
According to a 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a total of 20.5 million people used prescription pain relievers, stimulants, tranquilizers, or sedatives in a way not consistent with the prescribed use.
According to the CDC, the United States has seen a 30% increase in overdose deaths from 2019 to 2020.
The DEA collected 419.7 tons of unused, expired, and unwanted medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in April 2021.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Thousands of opioid-crisis lawsuits filed against major drug makers and distributors are nearing a conclusion, with the outlines of a $26 billion deal between states and four companies expected to be announced this week and a $1 billion settlement to resolve some of New York's claims likely soon.