We recently issued an advisor on the Alamdea County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, and below is a portion of it.
The first pharmaceutical extended producer responsibility law in the United States, the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance (the "Ordinance"), was upheld by the U.S. Distrct Court for the Northern District of California. In Pharm. Research & Mfrs. of Am. v. Cnt. of Alameda, No. 3:12-cv-06203 (N.D. Cal., Aug. 28, 2013), the three leading pharmaceutical industry associations brought a dormant Commerce Clause challenge to the Ordinance. Judge Richard Seeborg held that the pharmaceutical take-back program required under the Ordinance is not an impermissible burden on interstate commerce. The trade associations representing drug manufacturers filed an appeal on September 12, 2013, but it is not clear whether the Ordinance will be stayed pending the appeal. If the Ordinance is upheld, it is likely to open the floodgates for similar pharmaceutical take-back initiatives in California and across the country, as well as additional extended producer responsibility laws for a vast array of consumer products.
This litigation does not raise or resolve issues of ambiguity in the Ordinance's applicability. Thus, whether the Ordinance will be extended beyond drug manufacturers to others in the supply chain, such as importers of record and repackagers, is still an open question. Further, it is unclear whether the distributor may be required to comply. Barring a stay of the Ordinance, these entities, if covered, must act quickly—either by submitting a petition for extension by September 27, or submitting a product stewardship plan by November 1.
You can find the complete advisory here.