Calif. county requires drug cos. to pay for painkiller disposal

On July 24, government officials in Alameda County, Calif. passed an ordinance requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay for prescription drug take-back programs in the county, marking the first legislation of its kind in the nation.

Alameda County currently has 28 medication collection sites which dispose of discarded drugs at a cost of $40,000 per year. Of the annual $186 million in profits generated by drug companies in Alameda County, officials say the projected cost of a comprehensive program producer-funded program would be about 1 cent for every $33 of pharmaceuticals sold in the county.

The legislation was opposed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which says there is no evidence that take-back programs help the environment and that the ordinance unfairly places the costs of drug disposal only on out-of-county manufacturers.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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One Response to Calif. county requires drug cos. to pay for painkiller disposal

  1. This is a very interesting. The drug take back program in this area is run and paid for by DEA, and since the cost is so high, it is probably going to be pulled sooner than later. They just do not have the funds. So a law requiring the Pharmaceuticals to pay for this is so very interesting. I wonder if they will have their attorneys keeping this in the courts for years. I wonder if the drug company lobbyists will slow this down as well. It will be interesting to see this pan out.

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