TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would create a prescription drug recycling program in New Jersey to provide low-income residents with access to affordable medication was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“Many low-income New Jerseyans struggle each day to afford prescription medications, which can be quite costly for those without insurance coverage. At the same time, hospitals and nursing home facilities are disposing of medications when a patient switches prescriptions or passes away, even though the prescription drugs are still in their original, tamper-resistant packaging,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and Hunterdon. “This recycling program can help some of New Jersey’s most needy obtain their needed medications and get healthy.”
The bill, S-2615, would establish a prescription drug donation repository program with the state Department of Health. The program would allow for prescriptions that are in their original sealed and tamper evident packaging to be donated to a central repository for redistribution to authorized medical facilities and pharmacies. Medical facilities and pharmacies could then donate the medications to needy individuals with the correct prescription. Thirty-seven other states have some form of drug recycling programs.
The bill was approved by the Committee with a vote of 9-0. It now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further review.