Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Today the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass the Alameda County Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance. This makes Alameda County the first in the U.S. to require pharmaceutical producers to pay for the collection, transportation and disposal of unused or expired medications from residential sources. The ordinance is based on a producer responsibility model. Requirements would be similar to successful medicine collection programs in Canada, France and Australia.
After July 1, 2013, the following changes will take place:
- Producers must submit a product stewardship plan, or be partnered with an existing approved plan, within 180 days of selling their products in Alameda County.
- Producers must offer medicine collection program(s) at permanent collection sites and/or at locations where envelopes for a mail-back program are available.
- The companies are not allowed to charge consumers a visible fee for the medicine collection service.
- Producers must have an outreach and promotion campaign so that consumers are aware of the medicine disposal program.
- Controlled substances (medications that have strong potential for abuse or addiction) are excluded from the ordinance for now, pending new regulations on the disposal of controlled substances to be provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration.