NEW YORK — Four drug industry trade groups are suing the board of health in King County, Wash., over a local health ordinance that they say shifts the burden of sustainable disposal of unwanted drugs onto drug companies, according to published reports.
The Seattle Times reported that the groups sued the board of health of King County, where Seattle is, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleging that a requirement that they provide safe-disposal containers to pharmacies and police stations violates the commerce clause of the Constitution. According to reports, the groups include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The program is one of several set up around the country as part of an effort to keep unused and expired drugs out of landfills and sewage systems, where, research has shown, they can contaminate soil and drinking water.
The King County policy was modeled on a similar one in Alameda County, Calif., that a federal court upheld, according to The Seattle Times.