Alameda County officials are crafting an ordinance that would hold drug manufacturers financially responsible for the disposal of consumers' expired and unwanted medications.
Drug producers could potentially face penalties of up to $1,000 per day if found in violation of the ordinance. Retailers placing their own store labels on drugs created by foreign manufacturers would be exempt.
The ordinance draft will be discussed at the county's Safe Medication Disposal Conference, set for Oct. 12 at the . Officials also hope to encourage all cities in the county to install permanent drug take-back sites.
Of the 130 drug take-back sites in the Bay Area, the county's Eden Area only has five. Sgt. Bret Scheuller of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said there is a definite need for more — he said he once collected more than 300 pounds of medication from a drug take-back event.
"It would be revolutionary and rather than having our local public dollars go to collecting these medications, the manufacturers would be held responsible for disposing them themselves," said Linda Pratt, program director for .
CommPre, along with several governmental agencies, helped sponsor the county's Medication Disposal Initiative.
Pratt spoke about the initiative during last week's Unincorporated Services meeting. [See her presentation as a PDF, attached above]
Supervisor Nate Miley mentioned during the meeting that the City of San Francisco had attempted to pass a similar ordinance but was offered money by drug companies to let them pilot their own program.
"We're not just going to sit back and let the pharmaceutical industry pay us $100,000 for an ineffective program," Miley said. "I'm not about being bought out."
If the ordinance does move forward, it will either go before the Board of Supervisors or be part of a county-wide ballot.
"I can't believe one person in Alameda County who'd be against this because it's just good public policy," Miley said.
Current Alameda County Drug Disposal Sites:
United Pharmacy — 2929 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, 510-843-3201
Transcendentist —3030 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, 510-841-3040
Haller's Pharmacy and Medical Supply — 37323 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, 510-488-7621
Fremont Hazmat Drop-Off Site — 41149 Boycee Rd., 1-877-STOPWASTE
Washington Hospital Community Health Resource Library — 2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont, 510-477-7621
Washington Hospital Main Lobby — 2000 Mowry Ave., Fremont, 510-477-7621
Alameda County HHW Drop-off Site — 2091 W. Winton Ave., Hayward, 800-606-6606
Ted's Drugs — 27453 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, 510-782-6494
(bin located at emergency entrance) — 20103 Lake Chabot Rd, Castro Valley, 510-537-1234
Livermore Hazmat Drop-Off Site — 5584 La Ribera St., 1-877-STOPWASTE
Peralta Outpatient Pharmacy — 3300 Webster St., Oakland, 510-869-8835
Oakland Hazmat Drop-Off Site — 2100 E. 7th St., 1-800-606-6606 (Thur. through Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Medicine Drop-Off at the California State Building — 1515 Clay St., Oakland, 510-287-1651 (Mon. through Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
— 3081 Teagarden St., San Leandro, 510-347-4620 (Mon. through Thurs. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
— 15001 Foothill Blvd., San Leandro, 510-667-7721 (Mon. through Fri 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
— 13847 E. 14th St., San Leandro, 510-357-1881
— 33077 Alvarado Niles Road, 510-477-7621
— 35500 Dumbarton Ct., 510-477-7621