Proposed regulations for a secure medicine return program in Kitsap County

There is currently a lack of safe, convenient and legal disposal options for unused medications in Kitsap County.  Medicine take-back programs provide a secure and environmentally-sound way to dispose of leftover or expired medicines, and are a part of a comprehensive approach to preventing prescription drug abuse.

The Kitsap Public Health Board is considering a local ordinance to establish a convenient secure medicine return system for residents that provides convenient drop-off locations for unused medications throughout Kitsap County at no cost to residents.  The regulations propose to:
  • Expand safe medicine disposal options for Kitsap County residents to reduce risks of misuse, poisonings, and overdoses from leftover and expired medicines, and reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals entering sewer, septic, and solid waste systems.
  • Improve convenience for residents by expanding locations of secure drop boxes from law enforcement offices to pharmacies and hospitals, as now allowed under DEA regulations.
  • Provide an option for homebound residents to dispose of unused medicine by mail at no cost.
  • Ensure financial sustainability through a pharmaceutical industry-financed system providing sufficient resources to promote the program and handle larger volumes of returned medicines, and that relieves burdens on local government agencies and taxpayers.
Pharmaceutical Stewardship

These proposed regulations, modeled after regulations recently passed in King and Snohomish Counties, require pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop and pay for a coordinated secure medicine return system in Kitsap County. This concept is called pharmaceutical stewardship. Most manufacturers will combine their resources and hire a company to coordinate the system.
How Do Pharmacies Fit In?

In the proposed regulation, retail pharmacies can volunteer to host a secure drop box for people to drop off unwanted medicine ( visit for details).

To participate, you must:
  • Be a registered pharmacy with the Washington State Pharmacy Assurance Commission.
  • Amend registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to become a collector.
  • Authorize two employees to maintain keys to the secure drop-box.
  • Lock the drop-box when the site is closed.
  • Manage and maintain required documentation.

What will it cost to host a drop-box?

The cost should be minimal, but may include some staff time to maintain the drop-box. The pharmaceutical industry and stewardship organization will purchase and install the drop-box and will securely collect, transport and destroy unused medications. They will give you educational materials on the medicine return program for your customers. Since there must be a minimum number of drop-boxes throughout the county, pharmacies can negotiate payment for their participation.

Where can I find a copy of the proposed regulation?

A copy of the draft regulations is available here.

How do we sign up?
  • You can indicate your interest in participating in this survey.
  • The Kitsap Public Health District will notify all pharmacies if the regulation passes.

For more information, please visit

* 1. Would you consider having a medicine drop box at your pharmacy if the program was fully-funded?

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* 2. Do you have feedback on or questions about the secure medicine return program being proposed?

* 3. If you'd like to subscribe to email updates about the proposed regulations, please list your name or pharmacy name and email below.  Your email will not be shared and will only be used for providing updates on these proposed regulations.