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Bonamici, Mooney Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Make Safe Opioid Disposal Easier

August 25, 2021
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [8/25/21] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Alex X. Mooney (R-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for people to safely get rid of unnecessary prescription medication.


The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act, H.R. 5086, would help prevent drug abuse by creating a grant program to establish and maintain approximately 10,000 prescription drug disposal bins across the country. Disposal bins will be placed in community pharmacies and other health care settings where patients receive medication.


“I’ve spoken with people in NW Oregon who needed to go to great lengths to safely dispose of leftover prescription opioids,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “We must make it easier to dispose of these addictive medications to take them out of homes and minimize the risk of loved ones and others getting hurt. The bipartisan Safe Disposal of Opioids Act is commonsense legislation that will put disposal bins in locations that are safe and familiar to patients, like the pharmacy where they picked up their prescription.”


“The drug abuse epidemic has devastated families in West Virginia and across America,” said Congressman Alex Mooney. “By providing communities with secure bins to dispose of excess prescription drugs, we can help prevent illegal drug use. I am proud to be a sponsor of the bipartisan Safe Disposal of Opioids Act.”


Funding for the grant program will come from a small fee placed on opioids sold by pharmaceutical manufacturers. The legislation includes a rebate program to make sure the cost is not passed on to patients in hospice or with cancer who rely on opioid medication for pain management. 


The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act is co-sponsored by Representatives Anne Kuster (D-NH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Susan Wild (D-PA).


Bonamici first introduced the bipartisan bill in 2018 based on feedback she received while hosting a series of community discussions on the opioid crisis in NW Oregon. A report on her findings from the series can be found here.