Gong-Gershowitz Passes Measure to Reduce Improper Disposal of Prescription Drugs, Combat Public Health Hazards

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April 20, 2022

Gong-Gershowitz Passes Measure to Reduce Improper Disposal of Prescription Drugs, Combat Public Health Hazards

GLENVIEW, Ill. – State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, recently passed the Drug Take-Back Act through the General Assembly to address the improper disposal of prescription drugs, which causes harm to people and our environment.

“Public safety is always top of mind for me, and the unsafe disposal of prescription drugs poses a real public health hazard. Many people are flushing pills down the toilet, throwing them in the trash and generally not disposing of them properly. A lack of better options is putting communities at risk,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “Whether that comes in the form of lasting contamination of our groundwater, painkillers ending up in the hands of kids or damage to our environment, this is a serious issue and we have to be proactive in addressing it.”

Following on her continued commitment to promoting public safety, Gong-Gershowitz spearheaded the passage of House Bill 1780, which creates the Drug Take-Back Act to establish a single uniform statewide system of regulation for the safe and secure collection and disposal of medicines through a uniform drug take-back program. The program will be operated and funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers.

HB 1780 received backing from the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Public Health Association, the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health and the Illinois Retail Merchants’ Association. It received strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate and is now on the Governor’s desk for signature.

“40 million Americans drank from water sources contaminated by prescription drugs last year. It’s time we cut that number down to 0, and Illinois is going to do its part. I urge Governor Pritzker to sign this bill quickly to eliminate a serious danger facing our state.”

The Illinois Environmental Council played a critical role in passing this legislation. Jennifer Walling, the Executive Director of the IEC said, “The Illinois state constitution explicitly acknowledges every Illinoisan’s right to a healthful environment and with the passage of the Drug Take-back Act, our state is one important step closer to delivering on that promise.”

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