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H.R. 5041: Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act

On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House

Passed · Jun 12, 2018 at 7:05 p.m. ET · Source:

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5041 in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

H.R. 5041 would permit certain licensed employees of hospice programs to dispose controlled substances onsite after a patient’s death.

In recent years, the diversion of unused opioids used to treat patients under in-home hospice care has become an increasingly significant problem. While the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) encourages hospice staff to assist families to destroy leftover medications, agency regulations forbid hospice personnel from disposing of the medication themselves unless authorized by state law. The bill enables certain hospice employees the ability to dispose of these drugs and requires hospice providers to have written policies and procedures associated with the disposal of these drugs after a patient’s death.

According to the bill sponsor, “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] bill equips hospices and caregivers with the right to destroy unused meds after a hospice patient passes away, helping to ensure that it is not diverted out into the community.”

Source: Republican Policy Committee


All Votes R D
Yea 93%
Nay 0%
Not Voting 7%
2/3 Required

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