In The States

Mississippi Capitol Building
drug disposal


Drug Take-Back

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing substance abuse issues in America and the economic shut down accelerated degradation of the environment as well. Drug abuse, pharmaceuticals in waterways, and efforts by local governments to limit trash inflows to landfills have motivated state and local governments to continue to explore extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs like mandatory, manufacturer funded drug take-back.

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CHPA Ushered Historic Legislative Victories for PSE-Containing Medications in 2021

For the first time in 15 years, allergy suffering families from coast-to-coast are able to purchase PSE containing cold and allergy medications from behind the counter, without the need of a physician’s prescription. After years of advocacy, CHPA worked with lawmakers in both Oregon and Mississippi to repeal their prescription-only laws. By removing their PSE restrictions, the two states joined the rest of the country by returning the ingredient to OTC status. Oregon and Mississippi also became the 37th and 38th state, respectively, to join the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) network to govern all sales of PSE containing medications.

"Oregon was the first state to enact this strict law and now the last one to remove it. It sends a message to every corner of the U.S. that OTC access and affordability are critical to an effective healthcare system.”

Carlos I. Gutiérrez
CHPA, Vice President, State & Local Government Affairs


Ohio Becomes 21st State to Adopt Age-18 Sales Law for DXM-Containing Cough Medicine

In 2012, CHPA began an initiative to pass state level legislation restricting sales of dextromethorphan (DXM) containing medication to minors.  We did so in an effort to combat rising teen abuse of OTC medicines containing DXM. This year, Ohio became the 21st state in the country to adopt age 18 restrictions for DXM purchases after Governor Mike DeWine signed H.B. 9 into law.

“Smart public policy and education are both vitally important to combating teen OTC cough medicine abuse. This is why CHPA has long supported state efforts to limit teen access to DXM and has worked to increase parental awareness through its StopMedicineAbuse.org campaign.”

Scott Melville
President and CEO, CHPA


Extended Producer Responsibility Bills for Packaging

The lack of federal progress on issues related to the environment has spurred state legislatures to act in the absence of meaningful national policy. State lawmakers have focused their efforts on extended producer responsibility (EPR) – the strategy to add all of the environmental costs associated with a product throughout its life cycle to the market price of that product. In the case of states, legislatures are increasingly seeking to have producers of products pay for the recycling and disposal of product packaging. Bills seeking to shift the costs of recycling from local governments to manufacturers were introduced in California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Parent guardian children hands holding together recycled green leaf arrow sign
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Legislators in Two States Pass Bills Establishing "Do Not Flush" Labeling Standards for Disposable Wipes

Municipalities have complained in recent years of “clogging” issues within their waste water infrastructure.  As a result, state governments have initiated “do not flush” labeling mandates.  CHPA supports legislation that includes industry-preferred provisions implementing “no flush” symbols on product packaging for non-flushable nonwoven wipe products such as sanitizing wipes and baby wipes. Bills in California, Illinois, and Oregon represent a consensus approach to the issue agreed to by CHPA and a coalition of stakeholders across the country. Similar legislation was adopted in Washington state in 2020.