Letters to the Editor

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DRUGS: Industry should fund safe disposal

Letter by Carl A. Anderson, Tacoma on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm with 1 Comment »
February 8, 2012 1:48 pm

The News Tribune’s support of the 2012 Secure Medicine Take-Back Bill, SSB 5234, is right on target (editorial, 2-8). The pharmaceutical industry has consistently been among the most profitable in the United States. The safe disposal of medicines is a very important issue.

Fifteen years ago, as an employee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, I oversaw the disposal of a large warehouse of adulterated over-the-counter medications. The cost to taxpayers was significant. The adulterated drug products were classified as hazardous waste and needed to be trucked more than 50 miles to a hazardous waste landfill.

The public needs to understand that expired drugs are not garbage. They are hazardous waste. The 2012 Secure Medicine Take-Back Bill is a common-sense approach to dealing with a serious environmental and public health problem. The cost to the pharmaceutical industry is minimal. The benefits to the public are significant.

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  1. On question I have when reading this letter is…

    “… the disposal of a large warehouse of adulterated over-the-counter medications. The cost to taxpayers was significant.”

    “The 2012 Secure Medicine Take-Back Bill is a common-sense approach to dealing with a serious environmental and public health problem. The cost to the pharmaceutical industry is minimal.”

    How can the cost go from significant to minimal for doing essentially the same kind of medicine disposal?

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