December 7, 2012: According to Andrew Pollack reporting for the The New York Times, brand name drug makers and generic drug makers are uniting today to fight an Alameda County law that will place the responsibility of running and funding a proper disposal center for prescription medications onto the drug companies.
With plans to file a lawsuit in United States District Court in Oakland, the industry is hoping to have the law struck down.The suit is being filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which represents brand-name drug companies, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
In July, Alameda County became the first locality to enact such a requirement. Drug companies have to submit plans to the county for the drug take-back program by July 1, 2013.
Drug take-back programs are gaining popularity as awareness spreads regarding small children accidentally ingesting pills. Left-over pills also pose a risk threat to teens who may want to experiment. The study, "The Growing Impact of Pediatric Pharmaceutical Poisoning," by (lead author) G. Randall Bond, M.D., Division of Emergency Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and published in The Journal of Pediatrics, looked at the patient records of children (ages 5 and under) from 2001-2008 that were obtained from The National Poison Data System of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.The records showed that 453,559 children were taken to emergency rooms for ingestion of a single pharmaceutical product.
Regarding the lawsuit, Nathan A. Miley, president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, said late Thursday, “It’s just unfortunate that PhRMA would fight this because it would be pennies for them.”
Written by: Taylor McCulloch