The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a new policy on September 8, 2014 that builds on existing pharmaceutical take-back programs. The regulation, effective Oct. 9, 2014, allows pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and other authorized collectors to serve as permanent sites for households to drop-off unused prescription drugs. Outside of DEA-sponsored one-time take-back events, Kentucky has many permanent drug collection programs. In most cases, these collection programs are located at law enforcement establishments where they have mailbox-type containers for the secure disposal of household pharmaceuticals or drugs. This new DEA regulation will allow for additional facilities to become authorized drop-off sites which will further the effort to divert pharmaceuticals from households that may otherwise be abused or improperly disposed.
For information on the proper collection and disposal of household pharmaceutical waste through a collection program, please refer to the “Guidance for Household Pharmaceutical Waste Collection Programs.” The guidance was developed by the Ky. Department for Environmental Protection intended for those with questions regarding compliance with environmental regulations for these collection programs. In addition to the guidance document, the Division of Compliance Assistance developed a self-paced learning module to discuss collection programs, identify regulators of pharmaceutical waste, illustrate how to determine if a material is a household pharmaceutical waste and communicate the options for appropriate disposal. The DEA also provides information on the Drug Disposal Act and resources for regulated entities and households.