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Drug Take-Back Laws Stand, Pave Way for More EPR Laws

Drug manufacturers will be required to fund and manage medication disposal programs, following the US Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the pharmaceutical industry’s case against a drug take-back law in California.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and two other industry trade groups in 2012 challenged the constitutionality of Alameda County, California’s ordinance — the first of its kind — which requires drug manufacturers to fund and manage the safe disposal of unwanted medications.

The Supreme Court decision means that the Alameda ordinance, as well as similar laws passed in San Francisco, California, San Mateo, California, and King County, Washington, will stand.

According to the Product Stewardship Institute, the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the challenge brought by PhRMA, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization will pave the way for more extended producer responsibility laws, which hold manufacturers responsible for the end-of-life management of their products.


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