Biopharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Sector on U.S. Court of Appeals Oral Arguments Against Alameda Ordinance

Published Online: Friday, July 11, 2014
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 11, 2014) Today, counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), joined by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), participated in oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in appeal of the district court ruling in favor of Alameda County's Safe Drug Disposal ordinance, which requires pharmaceutical companies to bear the full burden of designing, funding, and operating a collection program in the county for unused medicines in the home.

"Today's oral arguments offered an important opportunity to educate stakeholders within Alameda County and all of California about the unnecessary and burdensome impacts that will result if this proposed take back program is allowed to stand. This proposed approach is impractical, inefficient and reflects an attempt on the part of the county to directly, significantly, and unconstitutionally regulate companies whose connection with Alameda is nothing more than having introduced federally-approved products into interstate commerce.

We support safe disposal of medications, and today consumers have several options available to them that are considered safe and effective by both the FDA and DEA. These methods include various means of convenient in-home disposal, as well as take back days organized by local and national law enforcement agencies, among others.

While existing programs like the DEA National Take-Back Day can offer benefits to communities, creating mandates for dispersed take-back sites that place funding and sole responsibility upon the manufacturers of medicine is not only unfair cost-shifting, but may well increase the risks associated with unused medicines. We remain confident in our legal position, and look forward to continued collaboration with local leadership to address patient safety and disposal concerns."
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