California’s Alameda County has passed a law requiring pharmaceutical companies who sell products in the county to pay for collection programs for unwanted medications.
The move was applauded by three product stewardship organizations – the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI); the Product Policy Institute of Athens, Ga.; and the California Product Stewardship Council, Sacramento, Calif.
The Alameda County board of supervisors unanimously approved the measure, the PSI said in a news release. Oakland is the Alameda County seat.
Without a safe, convenient collection program for unwanted pharmaceuticals, there are significant risks of prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings, aquatic impacts and pollution of waterways, the groups said.
“Alameda County took a stand and said if the federal government and state legislators fail to act to protect public health and the environment, and the product manufacturers refuse to share in the responsibility for their products which they profited from, local governments will take action because the public is demanding it," said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council.