Brand Name and Generic Drug Manufacturers Teaming Up? Proper Drug Disposal as the Common Thread
Brand name and generic manufacturers are finding a reason to team up...against a local California municipality. Alameda County passed a law requiring drug manufacturers to establish, and fund, a mechanism for consumers to properly dispose of their medications. Proper disposal of medications will help minimize the environmental exposure to potentially harmful chemicals such as hormones, antibiotics and other drugs. Most experts agree that a majority of the medications get into the environment through human and animal urine/feces containing the drugs or their metabolites.
Currently, sewage treatment plants are not designed to remove these substances so another strategy is to limit the exposure by preventing the drugs from getting into the environmnet. Drug take-back programs, such as the one called for by Alameda county, are costly. A similar program in British Columbia costs about 1/2 million dolllars a year to run, for about a population of 4 million people. If this catches on, this would be a costly venture for drug manufacturers, to say the least
PhRMA, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization are jointly filing a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Oakland on Friday. Only time will tell how this shakes out. For more information, see the New York Times article .