Producer Responsibility for Medicine

Learn about the new WA Secure Drug Take-Back Act!

handful of pillsSecure medicine take-back is an important public safety strategy to reduce misuse and abuse of medicines.
It's a critical part of an "all-of-the-above" comprehensive approach to the opioid crisis and to suicide prevention.
Safe drug take-back prevents waste medicines from contributing to pharmaceutical pollution.
Every community in Washington State needs secure and convenient medicine drop-off sites to protect our families and our environment.

Waste Medicine – The Problem

Medicine Return FAQs

medicine dropbox2018 WA State Secure Drug Take-Back Act

House Bill 1047 – the Secure Drug Take-Back Act - will create a convenient statewide drug take-back program for prescription and over-the-counter medicines that is established, financed, and coordinated by pharmaceutical manufacturers. The state bill is modeled on successful county level Secure Medicine Return ordinances. Manufacturers of medicines are the ones that can cover take-back costs in their business models. Internalizing this product safety cost to provide dedicated program funding for more drop-off locations and better program promotion.

Zero Waste Washington worked with an amazing coalition of organizations to pass this legislation.

Learn About SHB 1047 – WA Secure Drug Take-Back Act


Producer Responsibility for Medicines is catching on at the county level

The Boards of Health of six counties in Washington State have passed Secure Medicine Return laws. And more counties in Washington State are developing local ordinances. Medicine manufacturers have developed a program plan and installed secure drop boxes in Snohomish and King counties. A MED-Project Program is rolling out in March 2018, and a launch is anticipated in Pierce county in late March 2018. In Clallam, Whatcom, and Skagit counties, the manufacturers' must submit their stewardship plans for review in May, June and September 2018, respectively.

MED-Project, representing about 410 drug manufacturers, is providing more than
140 secure medicine drop boxes across Snohomish County and King County.
A MED-Project program is rolling out in Kitsap County and will launch soon in Pierce County.

Learn more about Secure Medicine Return laws in these counties in Washington State:

King County Manufacturers' MED-Project program officially launched in January 2017. More than 100 secure drop boxes as of January 2018!

Snohomish County Manufacturers' MED-Project program launched in August 2017. More than 35 secure drop boxes as of January 2018!

Kitsap County Manufacturers' MED-Project program began a roll-out in March 2018.

Pierce County Manufacturers MED-Project program will launch in late March or early April 2018.

Clallam County

Whatcom County

Skagit County

A number of California counties have passed similar laws and the manufacturers' take-back programs are rolling out.

Get Involved

For individuals, sign up here to join our list to receive email updates about the WA secure drug take-back act.

For organizations, join the coalition of supporting organizations by contacting: Heather Trim, email heather at zerowastewashington dot org

About Our Work on Secure Medicine Disposal

Zero Waste Washington has been working for more than 12 years to create safe medicine take-back programs: by developing and evaluating pilot take-back programs, by exploring options for waste reduction, and by advocating for pharmaceutical stewardship laws. We partner in this work with a wide range of organizations and agencies, including substance abuse professionals, health & medical associations, law enforcement, public health agencies, solid waste agencies, and water quality organizations.

Zero Waste Washington wants to see convenient, secure collection and disposal of household medicines in Washington funded by the drug producers. Drug producers can cover this product safety cost in their business models and provide dedicated funding for a convenient and well-promoted secure medicine return system. We are advocating for passage of comprehensive medicine take-back legislation at the state level, and supporting local Secure Medicine Return ordinances in WA counties.

Drug manufacturers have provided safe medicine take-back at pharmacies in Canada (now in all provinces!), Mexico, France, Spain, and other countries for many years. And now drug companies are providing a convenient and secure medicine return program in several counties in WA too!

Why not all of Washington State?

Last Updated (Monday, 02 April 2018 15:01)