Ask yourself if you have ever disposed of unused or outdated medication by flushing it down the toilet or by tossing it in the garbage. Sadly, most of us must admit we have done this at one time or another. So what is the best way to get rid of them? Individually, all that is required is that we return any unused medication to our local pharmacy for safe disposal. What happens once we do our part is a matter of local and regional legislation. Alameda County of California established legislation requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay for the safe disposal of prescription drugs. In the three years since this legislation was passed the drug companies have sued and lost in lower courts. On May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the industry’s challenge of the Alameda law. The Product Stewardship Institute followed up by stating the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the challenge will pave the way for more extended producer responsibility legislation. U.S based pharmaceutical companies have been given a clear message: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is no longer an option. You can read more about this in our Top Story.
- Lisa James.