Giral doubles up efforts to reduce opioid and prescription drug abuse

Bills are aimed at supporting and educating pharmacies about disposal of medications

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Today, bills (H.B. 817 and H.B. 818) introduced by state Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila., passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The bills represent Giral’s dual effort to educate and support pharmacies to help reduce opioid and prescription drug abuse in communities.  

House Bill 817 (Educate pharmacies about drug takeback locations) would direct the State Board of Pharmacy to educate pharmacies about drug takeback programs. Pharmacies can institute takeback programs now, but many do not because they lack the necessary guidance and logistics plan.

Giral highlights that the educational component in his bills is essential because educating pharmacies on the option to aid Pennsylvanians with safely and responsibly disposing of their unwanted or expired medications is crucial to preventing the misuse and diversion of prescription drugs.

House Bill 818 (Provide support for drug takeback locations at pharmacies) would establish the Pharmaceutical Collection Sites Educational Program within the Department of State to assist pharmacy board efforts. The program would help pharmacies meet the cost and complete the necessary steps of setting up a takeback location.

“I am proud to say today that we are moving legislation forward to address this issue,” Giral said. “We are now a step closer to take control of this serious public problem in our state. I am thankful to my colleagues and all of the advocates for their support.

“Together we can ensure every resident has access to a collection site and reduce the number of opioids in our communities,” Giral added