Update: Click here to read an excellent round-up of this issue as reported by the Pioneer Press.
This session, CGMC monitored legislation (S.F.1568/H.F. 1217) that aimed to create better mechanisms for disposing unused prescription medications. Unused pharmaceuticals are often flushed down toilets or buried in landfills and can seep into drinking water sources. Originally, this legislation would have placed the burden of safe disposal on drug manufacturers and wholesalers, but was subsequently revised to shift the responsibility to local law enforcement officers and the MPCA.
While the legislation delegates authority for drug possession and disposal, it does not provide a funding framework to mitigate the cost of doing so. As such, the City of Austin will ante up $5,000 per year to support a local drug disposal program, according the the Austin Daily Herald and KAAL-TV. Although the ideal solution to safe drug disposal and clean drinking water would involve a more significant role from the state, drug manufacturers, and drug wholesalers, we applaud the City of Austin for making the safety of its residents a top priority.