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Prevention Institute

July 26th, 2012

Alameda County’s Groundbreaking Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance Will Protect Health & Environment

Alameda County, California, has become the first county in the US to pass a Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance, a policy designed to “take back drugs and take back lives.” This critical legislation charges drug companies for the safe collection and disposal of unused medications, and marks a crucial step in the growing movement to protect public health, safety and the environment. Read our full response, “Big Pharma: Take it Back --Protect our Water and Health” in Larry Cohen’s latest Huffington Post column.

Many drug companies profit handsomely from the sale of medications, and have long shirked the responsibilities associated with safe collection and disposal. In contrast, communities have been given no safe options for medication disposal, while environmental contamination, preventable injuries, and suicide rates have soared. We’ve figured out how to recycle newspapers and beer bottles, but we haven’t worked out a way to recycle dangerous drugs—it’s past due.

Prevention Institute has worked in support of Alameda County's Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance, and applauds the County's efforts to protect Californians from the potential dangers of unused medications. Safe collection and disposal policies keep medications out of landfills, groundwater, and drinking water, and reduce risks of poisoning, suicide, and antibiotic resistances. Now that we have a courageous model, this approach should and must be undertaken around the country.

It is time the pharmaceutical companies share in the responsibility for medication disposal. Prevention Institute congratulates Alameda County for passing this groundbreaking legislation that will help save thousands of lives. Read the full piece now.

In April 2012, Prevention Institute provided testimony on injury prevention in support of Alameda County’s innovative Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance. Read our full testimony here.

For America’s Birthday, Let’s Protect Our Troops from Legal Drugs

Read Larry Cohen's piece on Lariam, a common but extremely powerful prescription drug that can lead to anxiety attacks, suicide, and violence towards others. In the world of pharmaceuticals, the precautionary principle is too often ignored, and dangerous drugs are prescribed--long after legitimate safety concerns have been raised. Read now.

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