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Mr. STUPAK. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise in support of S. 3397.
Millions of Americans are prescribed narcotics for postoperative pain, bone fractures, and other ailments each year. However, most patients do not consume all the prescriptions they are prescribed. These drugs remain in drug cabinets for years, easily accessible to teens wishing to experiment with drugs.
But failure to dispose of prescription medications properly causes several problems. First, there's the potential for a child to ingest the drugs accidently. Second, we know that teen prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Unused prescriptions in a house are easily accessible to teens wishing to experiment with drugs. Third, there's a potential for narcotics to be abused by the patient or sold to someone else to abuse.
The Controlled Substance Act regulates prescription narcotics through a registration system. Currently there are roughly 1.3 million DEA registrants who are legally allowed to handle or distribute narcotics from the manufacturer to the distributor to the pharmacist to the doctor. However, the Controlled Substance Act currently exempts patients from this registration requirement. This legislation allows individuals to dispose of unused prescription controlled substances to a recipient authorized by the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration.
The bill also authorizes the Attorney General to promulgate regulations for the lawful disposal of prescription controlled substances by a long-term care facility. S. 3397 also clarifies that the DEA regulations set forth in this legislation may not require any entity to establish a drug take-back program. It's a voluntary program.
I want to thank my friend and colleague Jay Inslee for all of his hard work on this legislation and his staff over the past years, Lamar Smith on the minority side, who worked closely with us, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle and their staff for their hard work and commitment to empower patients to prevent prescription drug abuse, especially amongst young people.
I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this legislation.
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