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New Oregon Law Will Create State-wide Prescription Take-back Program


A new law signed this month by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will require pharmaceutical companies to create a statewide prescription drug take-back program. The goal is to prevent unused medication from ending in landfills, waterways or in the hands of people it isn’t meant for.

Some pharmacies and police stations already allow people to drop off their unwanted medicine, but the new law will require a robust statewide prescription take-back program, funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Scott Cassel of the Product Stewardship Institute, a non-profit drug take-back advocacy group, said the goal is to place kiosks in convenient locations around the state. “It looks a little like a mailbox, if you will, that is designed so that you can put things in, but you can’t easily take them out," he said. "Because once they go in that box, we want to make sure that they’re secure.”

The new law gives drug companies about a year to develop plans to implement a prescription take-back program. House Bill 3273 passed with broad, bipartisan support during the closing days of the legislative session.

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