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Drug Disposal Law Approved by Alameda County Supervisors

The first-of-its-kind ordinance will require drug makers to pay for programs to dispose of drugs

Bay City News Service

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to pass the nation's first ordinance requiring drug makers to pay for programs to dispose of expired and unused drugs.

Board president Nate Miley said the ordinance is needed because the improper and careless disposal of prescription drugs and the illegal re-sale of prescription drugs puts members of the public, particularly children and the elderly, at risk of being poisoned.

The supervisors said another reason for the ordinance is that groundwater and drinking water "are being contaminated by unwanted, leftover or expired prescription drugs passing through our wastewater and treatment centers."

The ordinance requires drug manufacturers and producers to pay for the disposal of their products or face fines of up to $1,000 a day.

Alameda County residents currently can drop off their old medications at 28 drop-off locations, but the program costs the county about $330,000 a year.

Miley said he thinks drug companies can afford to pay for the cost of disposing drugs because they generate $186 million in profits annually in the county. He said the projected cost of a comprehensive producer-funded program is about 1 cent of every $3 worth of pharmaceuticals sold in the county.

Ariu Levi, the director of the Alameda County Department of Public Health, said the county plans to enforce the ordinance by developing a registry of drug products sold in the county and tracking them to the companies that make them.
         
Ritchard Engelhardt, the vice president of BayBio, a South San Francisco-based advocacy group for the life sciences industry in Northern California, said his organization won't challenge the legality of the ordinance but he said some individual companies might do so on their own.

Engelhardt said he thinks the ordinance is "ill-advised" because it won't address  the county's goals of improving water quality and preventing the diversion of drugs for illicit use.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an industry group based in Washington, D.C., said in a prepared statement that it also opposes the ordinance, saying it sets "a dangerous precedent for a community that is currently served by multiple safe medicine collection efforts."

Evan August 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Fred, Intentionally loaded-not disingenuous. You understand my reason for asking perfectly well. Climate change deniers reject mountains of scientific evidence and the consensus findings of 98% of climate scientists. This isn't the potential effects of parts per billion of some chemicals, it is observed effects over decades. To me, that is unreasonable, and it is not worth my time to attempt serious discussion. We will never find common ground.
Evan August 03, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Albert, the Canary is ok. More later.
Albert Rubio August 04, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Evan, >I have taken graduate level economics Since you can handle serious reading, I recommend (After Economics in One Lesson) the works of Ludwig von Mises (my intellectual hero), "Human Action" in particular, his greatest work available free at www.mises.org, in PDF, ebook and even professional quality audio download. And there is even a Human Action study guide. I don't know if you encountered Austrian Economics in your studies. We each want a better world and are presumably working for what we believe is the greatest need. I believe liberty, having discovered it, is the world's greatest need. Because I am not as interested in the environment you shouldn't think I am AGAINST the environment or even that I don't care about it. I think there are issues with Environmentalism philosophy and its trends but this is not the same as the environment.
Albert Rubio August 04, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Evan, Murray Rothbard is also another intellectual hero of mine. Heard of him? A student of Mises and instrumental in the mises Institute with a wealth of intellectual accomplishments. This should be a lecture of interest to you and Bob who is concerned about greed, which is discussed. Conservation And Property Rights (by Murray N. Rothbard) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPy9j3vtKCs >>"Aggression" could just as easily refer to pollution onto my property, threat to my health... Would regulation then not be equivalent to the acceptable "violent self-defense?" Maybe. You may be particularly interested in the section: Air Pollution: Law and Regulation. I have not read this, but Rothbard is always good. "In sum, no one has a right to clean air, but one does have a right to not have his air invaded by pollutants generated by an aggressor." Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution , by Murray Rothbard http://archive.mises.org/4939/law-property-rights-and-air-pollution-by-murray-rothbard/
Fred Eiger August 16, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Oh please Evan. Save your self righteousness for someone else. What are these "mountains of scientific evidence and the consensus findings"??? What are they basing it on? studies and tables from 1979? We're supposed to believe that political agenda of "scientists" which is based on 33 years of studies of a planet that is billions of years old? Oh yes, how thoughtful. You are being unreasonable and only trying to rationalize your paranoia. You continue to waste people's time and money with such ludicrous assertions.

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