The Cook County Board of Commissioners ("Board") in Illinois recently adopted the Cook County Safe Disposal of Pharmaceuticals Ordinance ("Ordinance"). Among other things, the Ordinance requires manufacturers of covered drugs ("Producers") that sell or distribute covered drugs in the County to fund and participate in a Prescription Take Back Program ("Program") for the collection, transportation, and disposal of unwanted covered drugs. The term "covered drug" includes drugs that are "sold, offered for sale or distribution in [the County] in pill, capsule, solid dosage, tablet, suppository, bolus, lozenge, implant, strip, powder and/or pellet form used by County residents, including prescription, nonprescription, brand name and generic drugs."

The Ordinance requires the Director of the Prescription Drug Take Back Program of the Cook County Sheriff's Office ("Director") to develop a collection plan, determine the method of collection of unwanted covered drugs, and determine the total cost of the collection of unwanted covered drugs. The Ordinance also requires Producers to register with the Director within 90 days of passage of the Ordinance, and pay a mandated registration fee to cover administrative and operational costs of the Program. By three months after the effective date of the Ordinance, or by three months after a Producer starts sale of a covered drug in the County, the Producer must register with the Director in writing.

The Ordinance prohibits Producers from charging a point-of-sale fee to consumers or increase the cost of a covered drug to recoup the costs of the collection plan. Producers are further prohibited from charging a specific point-of-collection fee at the time the covered drug is collected.

Persons found to be in violation of the Ordinance will be subject to administrative fines up to $500 as determined by the Director. Each day a violation continues is deemed to be a separate violation.

The Ordinance will become effective on January 1, 2017. The Enforcement and Penalties section of the Ordinance will become effective on July 1, 2018.

For more information and to view a copy of the Ordinance, please visit the Board's website at https://goo.gl/mcCfgZ.