Medicine take-back programs provide a secure and environmentally sound way to dispose of leftover or expired medicines and are a part of a comprehensive approach to preventing prescription drug abuse. Pharmaceutical stewardship policies require the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medicines to provide convenient collection options for consumers to properly dispose of unused medicines.
When considering the negative consequences of improper medicine disposal, and the need to develop a sustainable model for secure medicine disposal, the Board of Health approved a pharmaceutical stewardship ordinance for Snohomish County. Board members have examined how the Secure Medicine Return Regulations enacted by the King County Board of Health, and similar laws passed in six California counties address community needs. The approved ordinance can be reviewed by clicking on the link below:
About one-third of medicines sold to consumers go unused. This can occur due to someone switching medications, recovering from a serious illness, passing away, deciding not to take the medication as directed, or having “as needed” medicines expire before being used. Storing unwanted or expired medicines in our homes contributes to the epidemic of medicine abuse and preventable poisonings in our communities. Improper disposal of medicines down the drain or in the household trash adds to pharmaceutical pollution in the environment, including Puget Sound.
The Snohomish County Partnership for Secure Medicine Disposal had 25 law enforcement sites with medicine drop off boxes, as well as some other locations operated by local pharmacies.
While this program has been successful in collecting over 34,000 pounds of unwanted medicines since 2010, it is not a sustainable operation. Because there is a pressing need for more convenient locations, Snohomish County, as well as and many other jurisdictions in the country have proposed industry-provided pharmaceutical stewardship programs.
3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 104
Everett, WA 98201
About 1/3 of medicines sold to consumers go used.
3020 Rucker Ave.
Everett, WA 98201
6101 200th St. SW,
Lynnwood, WA 98036