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Schumer calls on DEA to allow pharmacy takebacks

Chris Caya/WBFO News

To help curb prescription drug abuse, Senator Charles Schumer says he wants to make it easier for people to dispose of old or unwanted prescription drugs.

A new state law allows pharmacies to take back medications, but the practice is banned by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Schumer says the Drug Enforcement Agency needs to act.

"They say they are going to change their policies and put out regulations, but they have delayed so darn long, that enough already," Schumer said.

"Every month we wait, more kids get addicted, here in Western New York and throughout America, to Oxycontin to Vicodin and other opioids. They cannot wait any longer."

According to Schumer, the DEA's red tape prevents pharmacies and communities from hosting drug takeback events.

The Brooklyn Democrat is also calling on the DEA to use drug forfeiture money to fund a prescription drug buyback program.   

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of people addicted to prescription painkillers get them from family and friends.