SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), pharmaceutical companies will now be required to establish a drug take-back program statewide, ensuring unused prescription drugs stay out of the hands of our children and our drinking water.

“Drug take-back programs are essential to keeping prescription medications out of the hands of our loved ones who could become addicted to these substances,” Senator Fine said. “In addition, these vital programs ensure prescription medications do not contaminate our environment.”

Many unused medicines are frequently flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink, causing harmful chemicals to end up in lakes, rivers, and groundwater, which can harm the ecosystem.

“Public safety is always top of mind for me, and the unsafe disposal of prescription drugs poses a real public health hazard,” said Rep. Gong Gershowitz, the House Sponsor of HB 1780. “40 million Americans drank from water sources contaminated by prescription drugs last year. It’s time we cut that number down to 0, and Illinois is going to do its part.”

While some counties in Illinois have already established similar programs, there is currently no statewide system in place. This law will provide a convenient way to safely dispose of unused medications, no matter what county you reside.

House Bill 1780 was signed into law June 10, 2022. It goes into effect immediately.