San Francisco Introduces Pharmaceutical Waste Legislation

San Francisco Introduces Pharmaceutical Waste Legislation

San Francisco has reintroduced an extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill to address pharmaceutical waste.

The city and county of San Francisco introduced legislation that would require any pharmaceutical manufacturer in the jurisdiction to participate in a product stewardship program that collects and disposes of unwanted drugs; pays all costs involved with the program; adequately promotes the plan; and disposes of all waste drugs at a permitted hazardous waste facility, according to a news release from the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI).

“We not only applaud San Francisco's action, but we also encourage other county, city, and state agencies to follow suit,” the PSI said.

San Francisco introduced the legislation shortly after a federal court upheld neighboring Alameda County’s EPR ordinance, which the pharmaceutical industry was hoping to overturn.

San Francisco is the first local government in the United States to introduce a drug take-back ordinance, but put the legislation on hold when a voluntary pilot program was funded by grants. The new proposed legislation is intended to be a permanent solution for both prescription and over-the-counter medication.

San Francisco is the third municipality in the United States to introduce pharmaceutical waste take-back legislation, after Alameda County and King County, Washington.


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