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Bill would let Utah pharmacies collect, destroy unused drugs

Published January 31, 2012 3:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah pharmacies could eventually dispose of patients' unused drugs under HB306, which was unanimously passed by the House Business and Labor Committee Tuesday.

The proposed law directs the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to allow the collection and disposal of unused prescription drugs as soon as the federal government develops relevant rules.

Rep. Bradley Daw, R-Orem, said federal law had required that a law enforcement officer be present at disposal locations. The law was recently changed and rules should be available by March, he said.

"People are more comfortable taking unused medication to a pharmacy ... than a police station," he said, adding that the drugs would be destroyed so they couldn't be reused.

The goal is to reduce the number of prescription pain pills circulating in the community. Surveys show most Utahns have and keep leftover pain pills. More Utahns die from prescription overdoses than motor vehicle crashes.

Heather May