McNamara bill would create program to redistribute donated and unused prescription medications


STATE HOUSE —Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation that would create a way to redistribute unused medication to aid people who cannot access or afford their prescriptions.

This act (2022-H 7133) would authorize the creation and implementation of a pharmaceutical redistribution program by the Department of Health and the Board of Pharmacy to begin on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Unused medication worth billions of dollars gets thrown out every year,” said Representative McNamara. “Medication will often go unused because a patient’s condition improves, they change doses, or they pass away. Instead of disposing of the unused medicine, people would be able to donate it. By collecting these unused drugs and redistributing them to qualifying individuals, we would be able to increase medication access, especially to underserved populations.”

The program would be voluntary and establish the conditions for donations and redistribution with civil and criminal immunity for persons or institutions acting in good faith.

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon C. Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston), Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence), Susan Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol) and Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services.