Proposal to add ‘Rx Drop Off’ at state pharmacies advances

Two local members of the legislature’s General Law committee, State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull) and Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield) hailed passage of a bill out of committee which would allow for the proper disposal of unused prescription drugs by pharmacies, the legislators jointly introduced.  

The legislation, House Bill 5077: AAC the Return of Unused Prescription Drugs to Pharmacies by permitting pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs.

Currently, prescription drug drop boxes in Connecticut are located in local police stations.

Rep. Rutigliano said, “There are many constituents who are uncomfortable entering the police station and disposing their unused prescription drugs, mainly narcotics, out of a fear or apprehension.”

“The proposal would allow for the voluntary participation of pharmacies to collect unused medication. Pharmacies all over the country have started to offer this service, since being allowed by the federal government in 2014. By making this practice legal in Connecticut, we can add another tool in the toolbox for drug abuse prevention"  said Rep. Rutigliano.

Rep. Kupchick said, “If we can give residents an additional and easy way to dispose of their unused medication, we should do that.  If signed into law, I'm hopeful this additional option will help prevent unused prescriptions getting into the hands of young people or anyone else."

The bill has the support of the Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies. The passed the General Assembly’s General Law committee by a vote of 17-0.

According to Governor Malloy, Connecticut saw an increase in the amount of unused prescription medications that residents dropped off at collection boxes during 2016, with the state collecting a total of 33,803 pounds worth of various medications throughout the year. That amounts to a 43 percent increase compared to the amount that residents dropped off in 2015, when 23,651 pounds of unused drugs were collected by the state.

The final rule on the Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in September of 2014 expanded the authority of authorized hospitals/clinics and retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles. These receptacles would still be subject to regulation and protections under the law. This bill will merely give pharmacies the option to participate as a collection site, not require it, and would likely help to get more prescription drugs off the street from folks who would otherwise feel uncomfortable returning them to the police directly.

Families looking for alternative methods for safely disposing of unwanted medications at home may visit DCP’s website for a series of helpful instructions.

A list of every prescription drug drop box location in Connecticut can be found online by visiting