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Comment on Proposed Secure Medicine Return Plan Updates

TACOMA, Wash.—Since last spring, your options to safely and securely get rid of unwanted medications in Pierce County have expanded. You can use more than 40 drop-box kiosks across the county or postage-paid mailers. The group that oversees the program wants to make changes. We want to hear from you first.

MED-Project—the stewardship group drug companies formed to develop the program—proposes changes that include:

New Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and State Board of Pharmacy guidance.
Collection of previously excluded items at kiosks like inhalers and thyroid medications with iodine.
Postage-paid mailers for hard-to-manage drugs like inhalers and EpiPens.
Flexible collection services to pharmacy and law enforcement locations.

You have until April 26 to comment on the proposed changes. Send your comments in one of 3 ways:

Regular mail—Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Attn: Secure Medicine Disposal, 3629 S. D St., MS 1045, Tacoma, WA 98418.

In Dec. 2016, Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health passed the Secure Medicine Return Regulation to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs like painkillers—which fuel the opioid epidemic—reduce accidental poisoning among children, and prevent harm to the environment when people flush medicines down the toilet or throw them into the garbage. The regulation required pharmaceutical producers to:

Fund and operate the take-back program.
Provide drop-off kiosks at hospital, pharmacy, and law enforcement sites.
Offer postage-paid envelopes to mail in medicines.
Coordinate collection events.

Find kiosk locations, postage-paid mail back instructions, and read more about the regulation at

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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