Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It all boils down to money....

Earlier this year, Alameda County (occupying the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay area) passed the nation's first-ever drug-take-back legislation which would make manufacturers responsible for the cost of collecting and disposing of left-over pharmaceuticals. The Alameda County legislation prohibits manfacturers from passing their disposal costs on to consumers.

MercuryNews reported that on Friday (December 7), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association filed a lawsuit against Alameda County in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The county has been anticpating this course of action, and just waiting for it to come. In 2011, the three allies staunchly blocked attempts in multiple states to launch drug take back programs. The pharmaceutical industry maintains that the most appropriate means of disposal is down the toilet, in the trash, or in drop boxes (of which there are very few across the entire U.S.).

The lawsuit boils down to money. The lawsuit states that,"The [Alameda County] ordinance favors local interests by deliberately shifting costs away from local consumers and taxpayers and onto drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical consumers nationwide." The industry argues that consumers and local government entities (and law enforcement agencies) should shoulder the burden for disposal of medications.

In an interview with the New York Times, Nathan A. Miley, the president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the champion of the legislation, said, “It’s just unfortunate that PhRMA would fight this because it would be pennies for them.”

Proponents of product stewardship for pharmaceuticals have long battled the lobbying power that the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical industry brings to the table. In 2009, revenues for the top 10 pharmaceutical companies topped $330 billion, according to a July 2010 report by Internal Trade Association Office of Health & Consumer Goods.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trash to Treasure: A repurposed and beautiful memory maker for your Christmas tree

I love looking at the ornaments on our Christmas tree. They all bring back such special memories. I found a great way to repurpose some "trash" AND add more memories to our Christmas tree this year, to bring family to our Christmas even when we cannot be with them over the holidays. You can do the same.

Metal or plastic lids from empty jars (rinsed and dried)
Old sheet music (check out your second hand store, or print some for free online)
Craft Glue
Photos of friends and family members
Pencil or pen

  1. Place the lid over your photograph. Center your image. Trace around the lid onto the photo.
  2. Cut on the line you traced.
  3. Place a dot of glue on the back of the photo. Insert the photo down into the center of the lid.
  4. Place the lid on your sheet music. Trace a circle about .75-1" larger than the lid (the distance should be roughly double the depth of the lid rim).
  5. Cut out the circle of sheet music.
  6. Put glue on the top of the lid. Center the lid on the wrong side of the sheet music.
  7. Place a thin layer of glue around the exterior and interior rim of the lid. Fold the sheet music up and over to the inside of the lid.
  8. Cut a length of ribbon to fit the inside rim of the lid. Glue it in place.
  9. Cut a 5-6" length of ribbon. Glue the two ends to the back of the lid to form a loop. Allow to dry completely before hanging on your tree.