WASHINGTON — Current programs to dispose of unused medicines in the home are sufficient, argued representatives of industry in appealing a provision put into place by a San Francisco-area county that would place the burden of recapturing these medicines on the manufacturer.
Counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, joined by the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, last week participated in oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in appeal of the district court ruling in favor of Alameda County's Safe Drug Disposal ordinance, which requires pharmaceutical companies to bear the full burden of designing, funding and operating a collection program in the county for unused medicines in the home.
"This proposed approach is impractical, inefficient and reflects an attempt on the part of the county to directly, significantly and unconstitutionally regulate companies whose connection with Alameda is nothing more than having introduced federally-approved products into interstate commerce," the associations stated."We support safe disposal of medications, and today consumers have several options available to them that are considered safe and effective by both the FDA and DEA. These methods include various means of convenient in-home disposal, as well as take back days organized by local and national law enforcement agencies, among others."
Requiring manufacturers to fund take-back sites is "unfair cost-shifting," the groups argued. "We remain confident in our legal position, and look forward to continued collaboration with local leadership to address patient safety and disposal concerns."