Ninth Circuit Upholds Alameda County’s Pioneering Prescription Drug Disposal Ordinance

The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Alameda County on September 30, 2014 in a precedent-setting case involving a county ordinance that requires pharmaceutical companies to cover the cost of the safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs. Shartsis Friese is representing Alameda County in this matter.

Art Shartsis, who argued the case in the Ninth Circuit, was quoted in San Francisco Chronicle coverage of the decision, “The court’s affirmance of local regulation was crucial, Shartsis said, because ‘the pharmaceutical industry has the lobbying power to stop these kinds of programs at the state level. It does not have the power to stop them at the county level.’”

The county won resoundingly in the Northern District and the pharmaceutical industry’s appeal was being closely watched by local governments around the U.S. The State of California, National Resources Defense Council, California League of Cities, and California State Association of Counties all filed amici briefs in the Ninth Circuit supporting Alameda County’s position.

Selected media coverage:

Drugmakers Lose Bid to Abolish Alameda Take-Back Program, The Recorder, October 1, 2014

Alameda County’s pioneering drug disposal law upheld in federal court, San Francisco Chronicle, September 30, 2014

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