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.