Important news for the U.S. hospice community is that the “Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act” (H.R. 5041) was among the many bills approved, passing unanimously with a 398-0 vote.
Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration forbids hospice personnel from destroying unused medication unless authorized by state law. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will allow hospice personnel to assist in the disposal of unused medication following a patient’s death, helping decrease the opportunity for diversion, addiction and unintentional misuse of prescription drugs.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization strongly supported this important legislation and applauds the bill’s sponsors Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-02), and Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) for their leadership in fighting America’s opioid crisis.
It is the understanding of the NHPCO policy team that all the bills voted on June 13 will be merged into a single bill that will be sent to the Senate for its consideration. NHPCO hopes that the legislation will be signed into law in the coming months.