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Senators Hassan, Braun Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Make It Easier and Safer to Dispose of Opioids and Other Medications

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill to make it easier to dispose of opioids and other medications. Under current law, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only able to recommend use of mail-in drug disposal products for prescription drugs such as opioids. The Better Options for Drug Disposal Systems to Reduce Diversion Act of 2021 would eliminate this burdensome requirement and allow for more broad use of safe and effective in-home disposal products, such as those which modify the chemical makeup of the drugs and make them unusable.


“We have a public health obligation to make it as simple and easy as possible to safely and effectively dispose of opioids and other drugs that could be easily misused,” said Senator Hassan. “This bill would cut red tape and take advantage of innovative drug disposal products that allow patients to safely dispose of drugs at home with FDA-approved processes. For families in New Hampshire, this could, quite literally, help prevent substance misuse and save a life.”


“I am proud to introduce legislation with Senator Hassan that will expand drug disposal options for patients. Allowing the FDA to authorize safe and effective drug disposal products to be dispensed with prescriptions of opioids and other dangerous medications will help streamline this process,” said Senator Braun.


The Better Options for Drug Disposal Systems to Reduce Diversion Act of 2021 would eliminate the “non-retrievable” standard —which has been interpreted to mean incineration—currently in place, and allow the FDA to recommend the use of the safe and effective in-home disposal products that have entered the market over the past decade. The bill would also allow these neutralizing products to be dispensed to patients along with an opioid or other potentially dangerous medication at the time the prescription is filled.


Senator Hassan is leading bipartisan efforts to combat the substance use disorder crisis, and since 2017 has worked to secure more than $86 million to New Hampshire in State Opioid Response grant funding to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Senator Hassan is also leading bipartisan efforts to vastly increase access to life-saving addiction medicine by pushing to eliminate a requirement that currently blocks millions of highly trained health professionals from prescribing medication-assisted treatment to their patients. In April, the Biden administration announced that it is removing some of the more burdensome barriers that Senator Hassan is working to eliminate.


To read bill text, click here.