During Tuesday's Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board decided to postpone voting on the adoption of the county's Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance until June.
The meeting was the second of two held to read over the . The meeting also gave opposing parties a chance to speak.
Until early March, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America (PhRMA), which represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, .
At Tuesday's meeting, four opponents of the ordianance spoke to the board. They sited several issues and possible unintentional consquences that may arise by adopting the ordinance that day.
Ritchard Engelhardt of Bay Bio, Northern California's Life Science Association, said the Board of Supervisors neglected to notify local pharmaceutical groups about the ordinance until recently. Another speaker said he just found out about it last week in the Oakland Tribune.
They urged the board to include them in further discussion of the ordinance before taking any action on it.
Supervisor Keith Carson asked about their proactive efforts into proposing resolutions to the issues they stated.
"You were looking for the problems...instead of possible solutions," he said.
Consuelo Hernandez of California Healthcare Institute asked the board to take into account what the Drug Enforcement Administration plans to do at the federal level before passing an ordinance at the local level.
"At the very least, we'd want to see what the DEA regulations are," she said.
More than three times as many proponents of the ordinance spoke to the supervisors.
In the end, it was Supervisor Scott Haggerty who requested to let the opposition come to the table and join in on a group discussion of the ordinance in the coming months.
He felt that adopting the ordinance on Tuesday would likely welcome a lawsuit from the pharmaceutical industry.
Supervisor Nate Miley who also sponsored the ordinance, stressed that despite the delay, the pharmaceutical industry should get involved on how the ordinance should work and offer resulutions to the issues they brought up earlier.
The board expects to make their final vote on the ordinance no later than early June.