Alameda Pharma Take-Back Law Passed!
Thanks in part to your support and advocacy, on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance was adopted by unanimous vote of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors! The video of the hearing is now posted on the County’s website – agenda item #69.
This is the first ordinance in the country to require producers of pharmaceuticals to share in the responsibility and costs to safely dispose of unused medications from the public. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has offered no solution except to promote disposal of drugs in the trash, which poses public safety and environmental health hazards.
To help Alameda through the implementation process and to stay informed, you can “like” the Alameda County Safe Meds Facebook page and follow AlCoSafeMeds via Twitter for timely updates. On the facebook page you will find press, radio spots and video footage from national outlets including USA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and much more. You can also view the most recent letter of support from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and a letter from Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack about the importance of partnership to solve the drug abuse epidemic.
Why the Public Demands Safe Medication Disposal:
Every year, nearly 15,000 people in the United States die from overdoses involving prescription painkillers—more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined.
In 2010, 55% of pharmaceutical abusers relied on friends and relatives to obtain drugs.
Improper disposal of medications is a public health and safety issue.
Unused medications in the home allow for drug abuse by children and teens. Flushing and throwing away medications can harm the environment and the water we drink.
Alameda County’s Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance is spearheading safe drug disposal for the entire nation. Citizens deserve secure and convenient locations to dispose of their unused medications.
“Pharmaceutical companies need to stop hiding from the issue of the overwhelming amount of unused and outdated medication products, and the cost of disposal currently being carried by the consumer. It's simply good business for them to work with their customers to promote better health.” - Pauline Von Stetten, Alameda County resident
“As it now stands pharmaceutical profits are privatized and cleanup costs are socialized. This ordinance corrects the imbalance and fairly re-assigns responsibilities.” - Kreigh Hampel, City of Burbank Public Works Department
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
1. Sign the petition to pass the ordinance and have your friends, family and neighbors do the same!
“Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.” CDC Vital Signs. Office of the Associate Director for Communications. November 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 15 June 2012
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-41, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4658. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011.
Video produced by volunteers of the Alameda Medication Education Disposal Safety (MEDS) Coalition