In July, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB 2088, which requires that all pharmacists who dispense Schedule II controlled substances provide written notice on the safe disposal of controlled substances unless the dispensing pharmacy is authorized to take back those drugs for disposal, regularly accepts those drugs for safe disposal or provides the patient—at no cost—”chemicals to render the unused drugs unusable” or a mail-in pouch. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2020.
“Texas legislators understand that leftover medications pose a risk to their communities,” said William Simpson, DisposeRx president. “We applaud their efforts to address those risks and eradicate unused prescriptions—the same commitment we see from our retail pharmacy customers. We are in the infancy of educating patients about medication management and proper disposal, and it will take a consistent and collaborative effort to change behavior.”
DisposeRx packets are currently available in pharmacies throughout Texas including Albertson’s, H-E-B, Kroger/Harris Teeter, Walgreens and Walmart/Sam’s Club, with more retail pharmacies being added later this year and early 2020, including Health Mart and CVS.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Texas ranked 12th in the country in the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 with 1,375, and second in the country for total health care costs from opioid misuse at nearly $2 billion per year.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy will be required to keep a list of locations at which controlled substance prescription drugs are accepted for safe disposal and must make that list available on the Board’s website.