Tag Archives: Alameda County

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.

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