HB2269 Creates Process to Give Unused Medicine to the Poor (video)

All too often my video updates focus on bad bills that the Arizona Legislature is considering. To end week three of the Legislature on a high point, here is a good bill.

HB2269 sets up a process for donating unused, good medications to people in need. Under HB2269, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and people can take unused but in-date medications to participating pharmacies for inspection for tampering, checking expiration dates, repackaging, and redistribution. People receiving the drugs would pay a fee for the handling but nothing for the medications. This would not include prescription opioids, but it would include everything else, including many very expensive drugs.

Often, after people pass away, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and family members have good, unused medications on hand. The current advice is to throw all of these medicines away. This is how drugs get into the landfills, water and food supply. Setting up a safe process for pharmacists to handle and redistribute unused medications helps the poor, protects the environment, and allows family members to honor their loved ones by giving back to the community.

One of the women who testified in committee said that she had to dispense with her father’s heart medications after he died. She threw away half of a garbage bag full of expensive medicines that could have been used by somebody else.

This bill is a good idea. It passed the House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously. You see… the Legislature can do the right thing.

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