HB 1457: Regarding drug take back programs

m Bookmark and Share

HB 1457: Regarding drug take back programs.

New Hampshire is known for the recent opiate crisis. “In 2015, there were 439 total drug deaths, of which 397 deaths were caused by opiates/opioids; 2,724 emergency naloxone administrations; and 2,067 opioid-related emergency department visits—the highest-ever recorded in the state (Hassan & Vara, 2016).  Specifically, in regard to drug take back programs in 2011, the New Hampshire Legislature enacted RSA 318-E, which authorized both government and private entities to conduct pharmaceutical take-back events.  There are 45 permanent drug take back boxes in law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Since 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency has also conducted eleven National Drug Take Back events in New Hampshire.  Additionally, House Bill 1490, which was signed into law on June 7, 2016, allows registered pharmacies to establish permanent drug take back boxes, as long as the registered pharmacies comply with federal regulations.

All of these drug take back initiatives provide more options to safely dispose of expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medications, reducing community access to potentially addictive drugs. (Hassan & Vara, 2016).  However, these bills do not include the take back of illicit drugs or paraphernalia, nor do they offer treatment for the individuals returning this medication.  (Prepared by Briana White, MSN, RN, CPN)

A public hearing on this bill was held on January 17, 2018 attended by Joan Widmer, Nurse Executive Director of NHNA.  Bedford Chief of Police John Bryfonski, representing the NH Chiefs of Police, testified that the inclusion of illicit drugs in the drop box could pose a public health risk (re: Fentanyl and Carfentanyl exposure), preclude the ability to participate in the DEA bi-annual take back program.  He stated that inclusion of illicit drugs in this program would be a violation of Federal law.  Kathy Bizarro of the NH Hospital Association testified that the fledgling hospital based drug take back programs would likely close because pharmacists are banned from accepting illicit drugs.

NHNA’s Commission on Government Affairs is opposed to the passage of HB 1457.

The House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs voted this bill inexpedient to legislate (a method of killing a bill).

On February 8, 2018 the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs voted this bill ought not to pass.  NHNA opposed this bill.