At their request, the Whatcom County Health Department is preparing legislation for the Health Board’s consideration that will create and fund a secure medicine return system in Whatcom County. Secure medicine return programs are a way for consumers to dispose of leftover, unwanted or unused medicines in a safe and environmentally sound way. These programs are an important part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction.
The proposed policy would require pharmaceutical producers – the companies that manufacture prescription and over-the-counter medicines – to provide the secure medicine return system at no cost to community members. The health department would provide oversight and monitor the program.
The proposed policy would:
- Expand secure medicine disposal options for Whatcom County residents to reduce risks of poisonings and drug misuse, and reduce pollution from waste medicines.
- Improve convenience for residents by expanding the number of locations where people can drop off their unused medicines.
- Ensure financial sustainability through a pharmaceutical manufacturer-financed system.
More information at www.whatcomcounty.us/2652/Secure-Medicine-Return