Medicine take-back plan approved | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Beginning in spring of 2018, Pierce County will have more secure and convenient options to dispose of unwanted medicines, protecting our communities in the process.

  • Wednesday, December 27, 2017 2:45pm
  • News

Unwanted medicines can have unintended consequences. A new medicine take-back plan makes disposal of these medicines safer and easier. Beginning in spring of 2018, Pierce County will have more secure and convenient options to dispose of unwanted medicines, protecting our communities in the process.

On Dec. 18, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department approved the medicine take-back plan from MED-Project—a representative of pharmaceutical producers that operates take-back programs in King and Snohomish counties. Before the approval, the Health Department considered feedback from a public comment period that ran from Dec. 4-15. The majority of the nine responses support expanded efforts for the safe and secure disposal of unwanted medicines.

“The plan protects public health and the environment from medicines that, under the wrong circumstances, can cause harm,” said Andy Comstock, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department environmental health program manager.

MED-Project now has 90 days to implement the plan, which will bring more drop-off kiosks to hospitals, pharmacies, and law enforcement sites across Pierce County. The public will also have the option to send back unwanted medicines with postage-paid envelopes.

In Dec. 2016, Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health passed the Secure Medicine Return Regulation to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs like painkillers—which fuel the opioid epidemic—reduce accidental poisoning among children, and prevent harm to the environment when people flush medicines down the toilet or throw them into the garbage. The regulation requires pharmaceutical producers to fund and operate the take-back plan.

Learn more about the plan, read the public comments, and find current drop-off locations at

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

More in News

Modern lights aim to tame 410 traffic

Rush hour traffic between Enumclaw and Buckley is a drag. But a DOT project to modernize Buckley’s traffic lights could make smooth sailing of future trips.

Briley Conant, second from the left, and Zach Pederson, far right, ask other Sumner high schoolers to link arms in a show of unity and support for each other and other students around the nation. Photo by Ray Still
Unity, ‘radical civility’ preached at walkout

Sumner High School joined thousands of other students in a nation-wide walkout last week.

Two free park days in April | Washington State Parks Commission

For April 14 and April 22, you won’t need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

Buckley double homicide suspect charged

Jared P. T. Standley, 21, was charged with killing his parents in Buckley last week.

Rock Haven, located in front of Bonney Lake’s Pet Pros, is a great place in the city to find rocks to paint or leave rocks for others to find. Photo by Ray Still
Changing lives, one painted rock at a time

Bonney Lake Rocks! is one of many local Kindness Rock Project chapters looking to make positive impacts.

Auditor calls for independent election observers | Pierce County

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson is looking to expand the election observer program.

Podcast, scholarship created in memory of two sons

The Babst Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Garrett and J.T. Babst, will go to an Auburn Mountainview High School student to support their decision to go into trade school.

County planning to finish Enumclaw trail, build bridge over White River

$2.8 million was allotted in the state legislature’s capital budget this year to jumpstart the project, which is expected to be compete between 2020 and 2021.

Most Read