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HBJ’s Old Drug Bill Moves Along


State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s proposal to require pharmaceutical companies to dispose of expired prescription medications jumped its first hurdle last week, winning the Environmental Quality Committee’s approval despite intense opposition from Big Pharma. Those lobbyists claim it will push up the price of pills, while Jackson argues it will only cost one penny per prescription if based on a similar program in British Columbia ​— ​a pittance, she said, to the $227 million the industry spent nationally on lobbying efforts last year. Jackson believes her bill would reduce both overdose deaths and the pollution caused when old medicine is flushed down the drain. Jackson’s bill, which never made it out of committee last year, will next month be heard by the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, where stiffer opposition is expected.

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