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Foxx Leads Bipartisan Effort To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement after introducing the RETURN Act, bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for consumers and manufacturers to keep opioids off our streets:

“The bipartisan Reduce Exposure and the Threat of Unused Residual Narcotics (RETURN) Act has one simple goal: to make it easier for both manufacturers and consumers to keep opioids off our streets by creating a commonsense approach to the destruction of unused opioids. It’s high time that this issue gets the attention it so deserves.

“This promising legislation was borne out of true bipartisan collaboration – something that is noticeably absent from Congress as of late. I’m proud to have worked closely with Representative Deborah Ross (D-NC) to bring the RETURN Act to fruition. Combatting the opioid epidemic requires a collaborative approach, and our legislation is a step in the right direction.”


Manufacturers often have drug mail-back programs and fund incentives for consumers, and in certain cases states and local governments, to return unused opioids for destruction by providing something of value such as coupons, gift cards, electronic deposits to a digital wallet, and cover the mail or shipping costs of the drugs to the reverse distributor. Once received, the reverse drug distributor would then process and destroy these drugs.

Current law does not allow reverse distributors to inspect packages that are part of drug mail-back programs, or to send off packages elsewhere for disposal. Instead, reverse distributors are required to destroy opioids on-site which can be expensive and logistically challenging. The RETURN Act would amend existing law so that reverse distributors could open and inspect packages that are part of drug mail-back programs to determine what manufacturer made the opioids then send the drugs off to another location for disposal.

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