Biopharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Sector Oppose Drug Take Back Ordinance

Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2014) Today, a coalition of five healthcare and drug manufacturing advocacy organizations expressed opposition to a newly introduced San Francisco drug disposal ordinance, which requires pharmaceutical companies to bear the full burden of designing, funding and operating a collection program for unused medicines in the home.

The following statement can be attributed to BayBio, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA):

"This ordinance, while seemingly well-intended, would have little impact in protecting patients, safeguarding our environment or curbing possible abuse associated with unused medications.

"The drug manufacturing industry supports efforts to help consumers safely dispose of unwanted medicines. However, there is no rationale for mandating new, costly and redundant disposal options when both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) support voluntary in-home disposal in conjunction with voluntary programs, national and local take-back days.

"We support safe disposal of medications, and today consumers have several options available to them that are both safe and effective. Along with the FDA and DEA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife (USFW) have all noted that in-home disposal is one of many easy and environmentally friendly options for consumers who wish to dispose of expired and unused pharmaceutical products from their home. The inclusion of a safe, free and efficient model of home disposal into a comprehensive community drug education program is a tremendous resource for municipalities, in addition to community-sponsored take back programs shaped by the most recent DEA guidelines.

"The drug manufacturing industry will continue to actively work with all relevant stakeholders to educate them on the appropriate use of medicines with the goal of helping to prevent the abuse and misuse of medicines and promote safe disposal practices."