October 6, 2014
A federal court upheld the producer-responsibility pharmaceutical waste law of California’s Alameda County.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ordinance passed in 2012 that requires drug producers who sell or distribute prescription drugs in the county to collect and safely dispose of the unwanted medications. Trade associations representing pharmaceutical product manufacturers and distributors sued, arguing that the producer responsibility ordinance violated the U.S. Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause, as it interfered with interstate commerce.
The court, in a 3-0 ruling, denied the appeal, saying the Alameda County ordinance “neither discriminates against nor directly regulates interstate commerce,” according to a news release.
“The California Product Stewardship Council is encouraged by today’s ruling. This is a big victory for Alameda County to be sure, but also for every local government in the nation that wants to reduce public costs and make proper management of medicines, or any product, more convenient for the public,” said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council.