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After years of skirmishes, the most comprehensive statewide drug take-back program in the nation became law late last week in Washington, potentially creating a new template for states to press the pharmaceutical industry to underwrite these efforts.

The Washington law requires drug makers to fully finance and operate the program, which is designed to lower the threat of drug abuse stemming from medicines that linger in households and also reduce contamination in drinking water.


Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court denied an industry request to review a lawsuit filed over a drug take-back program in Alameda County, Calif., lawmakers in different parts of the country have been emboldened to introduce bills to force companies to finance the costs.

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