The Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

On February 15, Representative Tim Walberg (MI-07) introduced H.R. 5041, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, in response to America’s opioid crisis. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) joined Representative Walberg as original cosponsors of the bill. This legislation would help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death. 

In a press release, Representative Walberg stated, “Many patients receiving hospice care need painkillers to help with end-of-life pain, but any leftover medication can unfortunately end up in the wrong hands.” The hospice community is actively working toward avoiding drug diversion and this bill is a common-sense approach that will help curtail the opioid problem. ElevatingHOME continues to monitor and engage with Congress to ensure that legislation to combat the opioid crisis does so without inadvertently harming those receiving hospice and palliative care. Contact Joy Cameron with any questions. 

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