The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday denying a bid by pharmaceutical associations to block enforcement of a Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance passed by Alameda County supervisors in 2012.
A lawsuit filed by trade associations representing the manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products filed a suit in federal court, arguing that the ordinance violated the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution as it interfered with interstate commerce.
The federal District Court ruled otherwise, finding that the ordinance serves a legitimate public health and safety interest and the relatively modest costs to producers do not unduly burden interstate commerce.
The trade associations appealed, but the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision in favor of Alameda County.
Now, with the U.S. Supreme Court denying to hear the last appeal, the county ordinance stands.
Following the ruling, county leaders are calling on the pharmaceutical industry to assist in making the take-back program a success in Alameda County and in creating a model program that can be followed by the rest of the country.