OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 92

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISPOSAL AND COLLECTION OF UNUSED MEDICATION.

SUMMARY:

This bill prohibits a health care institution and its employees, staff, contractors, or other people under its direction or supervision from discharging, disposing of, flushing, pouring, or emptying unused medication into a wastewater collection or septic system. Hospitals are exempt from the prohibition.

Under the bill, “unused medication” means unopened, expired, or excess medication dispensed for patient or resident care and includes pills, tablets, capsules, and caplets.

The bill requires the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to establish a program for collecting unwanted pharmaceuticals. The DCP commissioner must organize a public awareness campaign about unsafe pharmaceutical disposal and the program. The bill allows the DCP commissioner to adopt regulations to implement the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

HEALTH CARE INSTITUTION

For purposes of the bill's prohibition, a “health care institution” is a public or private institution or agency licensed or certified by the state to provide health care. It includes a nursing home; residential health care facility; home health care agency; hospice program; or an institution, facility, or agency providing services to people with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities. It excludes hospitals.

PHARMACEUTICAL COLLECTION PROGRAM

The bill requires DCP to develop and implement a program for collecting unwanted pharmaceuticals in consultation with the (1) Division of State Police in the Department of Emergency Management and Public Protection, (2) Connecticut Pharmacists Association, and (3) Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

Under the bill, the program must require municipal police stations and state police barracks to (1) have a secure locked box accessible to the public on a 24-hour basis for anonymous drop-off of unused pharmaceuticals and (2) arrange for the transport of such pharmaceuticals to a biomedical waste treatment facility for incineration.

It requires the DCP commissioner, within available appropriations, to organize a public awareness campaign about the (1) dangers of unsafe pharmaceutical disposal and (2) availability of the pharmaceutical collection program at municipal police stations and state police barracks.

BACKGROUND

Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility

By law, a “biomedical waste treatment facility” is solid waste facility that can store, treat, or dispose of biomedical waste. It does not include a (1) facility where the only biomedical waste stored, treated, or disposed of is generated at the facility and (2) licensed acute care facility or licensed regional household hazardous waste collection facility accepting untreated solid waste from medical care administration in a household by a household resident (CGS 22a-207).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

5

(03/21/2012)