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Prescription Drug Waste

SECTION 179.   Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of public health, in consultation with the department of environmental protection, shall make an investigation and study regarding the issue of pharmaceutical drug waste and its effect on the environment in the commonwealth. The department shall report on the following: (1) the estimated quantity of pharmaceutical drug waste in the commonwealth; (2) the quantity of such waste that may be recovered prior to disposal; (3) the methods and techniques used in other states or local governments to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical drug waste and identify model programs used to recover or recycle such waste; and (4) the efforts of pharmaceutical drug industry to mitigate waste through consumer support or take-back programs. The department shall make recommendations, consistent with its report, regarding: (1) the feasibility of expanding a drug recycling program similar to that prescribed in section 25I of chapter 111 of the General Laws to all consumers; (2) the feasibility of adopting similar programs adopted by other states or local governments to reduce drug waste; and (3) the feasibility of the department assisting municipal governments to establish local programs to reduce such waste. The department shall make its report and recommendations, together with legislation to implement those recommendations, by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and house on or before April 1, 2012.

Veto Explanation:
I am vetoing this section because the department has already completed a similar study and a new investigation and study would expend scarce department funds and resources and also require the acquisition of data that is not easily available and would be costly to obtain.