Washington Medicine Stewardship Activities

Washington state medicine stewardship passed into law

On March 22, 2018, Governor Inslee signed into law HB 1047protecting the public's health by creating a system for safe and secure collection and disposal of unwanted medications (aka the Secure Drug Take-Back Act). This is the first such statewide product stewardship law for medicine, as well as Washington state's 4th product stewardship law (the other three are E-Cycle Washington (electronics), LightRecycle Washington (mercury-containing lights), and solar stewardship). The law requires medicine manufacturers to create, fund, and operate a convenient statewide collection and disposal program for unused medicines.

The bill is similar to the Secure Medicine Return / MED-Project stewardship programs, funded by manufacturers and mandated by local health ordinances, currently operating in King and Snohomish counties, coming soon to Pierce, Kitsap, Clallam, and Whatcom counties, and passed in March 2018 in Skagit County.

Secure Medicine Return laws

The following counties in Washington passed ordinances (and the year they passed) requiring manufacturer-funded and operated secure medicine return programs for the convenient collection and safe disposal of unused medicines:


The NWPSC Medicines Committee tracks programs and policies that support the creation of secure, statewide medicine return programs for unwanted medicines from households that are financed by pharmaceutical manufacturers, and that do not rely on state and local government funding. The NWPSC created a sample resolution in support of medicine stewardship (PDF).