Allan Gerlat, News Editor

September 20, 2011

1 Min Read
EPR bill for pharmaceuticals introduced in House

A bill for a national extended producer responsibility (EPR) program has been introduced into the House that the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) called strongest potential federal legislation yet.

 Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) introduced the Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act of 2011, H.R. 2939, Sept. 19. The bill would require prescription drug makers to create a national collection and disposal program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would have program oversight and appoint a board of directors to administer a default program. Manufacturers have the chance to opt-out and create an independent program. The bill would require all programs to provide a collection site in every county and city with a population greater than 10,000 or offer a pre-paid mailer. All drugs collected would need to be destroyed through hazardous waste incineration, unless the EPA granted permission for an alternative disposal method, the PSI said in a press release.

“The need for a safe drug disposal program has never been greater,” Slaughter said. “In a 2008 investigation, pharmaceutical contamination was found in 24 out of 28 metropolitan areas’ drinking water. Worse yet, used pharmaceuticals place a bulls-eye on the homes of the elderly for thieves, or can result in accidental overdose or death. The bill I introduce today would help solve this serious environmental, public health and public safety concerns by providing Americans with a convenient way to safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs.”

The PSI supports the bill. “I think it’s a really important message that state and local governments need help from industry, that they can’t do it alone,” says Sierra Fletcher, director of policy and programs for the PSI.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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