San Francisco Passes Program to Take Back Pharmaceuticals

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)_ San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved legislation that would force pharmaceutical companies to set up programs for the public to turn in unused drugs.

Under the program city residents would have a safe way to properly dispose of those drugs that are considered dangerous waste products instead of tossing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said those drugs usually end up as discarded waste.

“When people flush them down the toilets, it gets in our wastewater system and potentially leeches into portable water systems,” said Mirkarimi of his own legislation.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Drugs are also thrown in the trash can where they end up in landfills or worse, in the hands of people who shouldn’t be taking them.

Now with the supervisors’ support, they are taking Mirkarimi’s legislation to force and pharmaceutical companies will set up drug retrieval programs by next September.

“Almost every city in the United States is twisting in the wind trying to answer the question about what are we going to do about unused, unsafe pharmaceuticals,” added Mirkarimi.

The plan is to set up collection containers at various locations with pharmaceutical companies footing the bill.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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