ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) – The New York State Senate has announced the “Drug Take Back Act” has been signed into law.

The measure establishes a unified statewide drug take-back program that will reduce medication misuse, and intended to save government and taxpayer money.

The bill, sponsored by Senators Kemp Hannon (R, Nassau) and Tom O'Mara (R-C-I, Big Flats), will also protect the state's water supplies by preventing drugs from being improperly disposed of by flushing or other means that result in contamination of water bodies and negatively impact aquatic life.

Senator O'Mara, who is also the chair of the Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee said, “It's incredibly important to do anything and everything we can to compliment and support the efforts of local law enforcement and other community leaders to combat prescription drug abuse.”

“These efforts include National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days and other initiatives like this one to facilitate the collection, and safe and responsible disposal of unused medications.”
O'Mara added, “This new law will greatly expand the number of permanent, locally based drop-off locations. It will be a very positive, cost-effective addition to the state's ongoing, overall strategy to protect our communities and local environments.”

The Drug Take Back Act will help give manufacturers of pharmaceutical products responsibility for costs of the take-back program, with focal points being public education and awareness, as well as drug collection, transport, and destruction. Under this new law, chain and mail-order pharmacies will be required to provide consumers with collection options, including drop boxes and prepaid mail-back envelopes. The measure will also ensure rural, urban, and other underserved communities have access to ongoing collection services so that all persons have reasonable access to locations to dispose of their drugs and prevent over-saturation in higher populated areas.