On February 15th, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg (MI-07) introduced H.R. 5041, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, in response to America’s opioid crisis. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) joined Rep. Walberg as original cosponsors of the bill. This legislation would help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death.
In a press release, Rep. Walberg stated “Many patients receiving hospice care need painkillers to help with end-of-life pain, but any leftover medication can unfortunately end up in the wrong hands.” The hospice community is actively working toward avoiding drug diversion and this bill is a common-sense approach that will help curtail the opioid problem. NHPCO supports this bill, appreciates Congressman Walberg’s leadership, and looks forward to working with him in the future. Stay tuned for a one-page brief on this legislation and information on how you can help.