California county to vote on Rx drug disposal bill

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Associated Press

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 6:01 PM

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Officials in a Northern California county are considering a law that would require the pharmaceutical industry to foot the bill for getting rid of unused medication.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors could vote on the Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance on Tuesday. Government and industry officials say the ordinance would be the first of its kind nationwide.

Alameda County residents can already drop off expired and leftover drugs in 28 places, but it comes with a price tag of $330,000 a year, a cost that county officials say the drug companies should pay.

Advocates for the disposal programs say it saves lives by preventing accidental drug overdose and keeping flushed pills from contaminating water. Critics say no evidence shows drug take-back programs help the environment or curb drug abuse.

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