Breen Bill that Targets Improper Prescription Drug Disposal Signed into Law

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that creates a task force to help inform Illinoisans of the methods and benefits of proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and the risks associated with improper and non-disposal of those products.

Through SB 2524, now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0925, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) will provide administrative support to a new Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force, with assistance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education. The task force members, who will serve without pay, will serve through 2022.

Upon the bill’s passage, Breen said, “Increased abuse of prescription medications by people other than the individuals for which they were prescribed has reached a crisis point in Illinois,” said Breen. “We’re learning that the medicine cabinet is the primary source of drugs for teens and that older teens and young adults actually engage in ‘pharm parties,’ where kids steal prescription medicines from home, take them to a party, and share them with friends. It’s a dangerous game that sometimes has deadly consequences, and we need to take steps to inform adults about proper disposal of their pharmaceuticals.”

In addition to health risks associated with people taking pills that were prescribed to someone else, Breen said significant environmental concerns can result when unused pharmaceuticals are poured down sinks or flushed, causing them to enter the public water supply.

“Studies have produced clear evidence that drugs enter our water supply when people flush their unused pharmaceuticals down the toilet or pour them down the sink,” Breen said. “Even though water from sewage is filtered and chlorinated, there is concern that some portion of these drugs remain in the water. This issue could be largely preventable if folks take advantage of opportunities to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications.”

No comments :