Alameda County to Require Drug Makers to Pay Disposal Costs of Unused Prescriptions
Alameda County's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance on Tuesday that requires drug companies to pay for the collection and disposal of prescription drugs they manufacture. It's believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
Heidi Sanborn is with the California Product Stewardship Council, which advocates for companies to better manage the disposal of their products. Sanborn says the measure is a good first step.
"It's a shot across the bow," she says. "It's basically a county saying, look, we can't do this alone any more, and if the state and federal government are going this slow when our citizens are demanding a better program, we're going to take the lead and drive it from the bottom up."
The county has its own network of drug collection sites that it says cost more than $300,000 annually. An industry representative expressed disappointment with the vote, but couldn't say if there would be a legal challenge.