Washington Drug Take Back rulemaking

In March 2018, the Washington legislature passed the nation's first statewide drug take back law, requiring manufacturers to fund and operate a program to safely and securely collect and dispose of unwanted medications. The Department of Health, which oversees the program, is beginning the rulemaking process with workshops for public comment on Aug. 2, Aug. 30, and Sept. 24, 2018.

Writing in NACo news, Margaret Shield said that the medicine producer responsibility law's passage was the "culmination of years of policy work by counties to access safe drug take-back for their residents. The state law was modeled on local ordinances that are proof-of-concept for requiring the pharmaceutical industry to provide convenient take-back options for leftover and expired medicines... After the pharmaceutical industry begins operations of a drug take-back program approved by the state Department of Health, there will be a one-year transition where the county-level programs will merge into the statewide system. Implementation of the state law is underway and expected to result in more convenient drug take-back services across Washington by late 2020."