Shartsis Friese Helps Alameda County Defend Rx Drug Disposal Law

On May 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the pharmaceutical industry’s challenge to an Alameda County ordinance that requires pharma companies to cover the cost of the safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs. Shartsis Friese represented Alameda County in this matter.

“This is an innovative ordinance where a county required a particular industry to take responsibility of a post-consumer product that is dangerous to dispose of,” said Art Shartsis in an interview with the Bay Area News Group.  “This was the last opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to stop these kinds of programs which now will begin to proliferate around the United States,” said Art to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The county won resoundingly in the Northern District and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari ended the case. The pharmaceutical industry’s appeal was being closely watched by local governments around the U.S. and similar programs are expected to launch in San Francisco, San Mateo, Seattle and many other jurisdictions across the country.

Selected media coverage:

County can make manufacturers pay for discarded drugs, San Francisco Chronicle, May 26, 2015

Supreme Court: big pharma must pay for prescription drug disposal in Alameda County, Contra Costa Times, May 26, 2015

SCOTUS declines challenge to Alameda County Rx drug disposal law, California Healthline, May 27, 2015

Pharmaceutical industry must pay for drug take-back programs, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2015

Supreme Court will not review Alameda’s drug disposal law, KQED California Report, May 27, 2015 (audio link)

Alameda County’s drug-disposal law is good for public health, San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2015