PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Law enforcement officials told a City Council committee today that they should wait for Washington, DC to take the lead before setting up a local program for residents to dispose of old medicines.

City Council’s Public Health Committee is considering establishing a citywide program to allow people to safely dispose of outdated or unwanted medicines (see previous story).

Among those testifying on the extent of the problem was Jeremiah Daley, director of the Philadelphia-Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking program:

“Seventy percent of people who abuse prescription painkillers got them from relatives or friends.”

But Daley told the lawmakers that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency is currently in the process of establishing, for the first time, comprehensive regulations on the disposal of drugs.   So any Council action, he said, should wait:

“And for this reason I would urge the committee, and the City Council, to delay taking action until such time as those regulations are published.”

It’s unclear when the feds will issue the new drug disposal regulations.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn.

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