Letters: Disposal bill will do little 

"County wants drug firms to pay for disposal," Peninsula, Jan. 14

Disposal bill will do little

On behalf of the region's biomedical innovators, we want to set the record straight about the proposed San Mateo County drug disposal ordinance.

While well-intended, it will do little to address the issues raised by the proponents — trace pharmaceuticals in the environment and illicit diversion of prescription drugs. More than 90 percent of trace pharmaceuticals are from human waste — the metabolites of a drug after it is taken. Those trace amounts are miniscule: 20 to 25 parts per billion — an eyedropper's amount in 20 Olympic swimming pools. While we share concerns with prescription drug abuse, educating parents about the risks of diversion and how to maintain an accounting of all drugs in their homes — not just those that are unwanted or expired — is the only way to solve this problem.

The Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife have all recommended in-home disposal as one of many easy and environmentally friendly options for consumers who wish to dispose of expired and unused pharmaceutical products from their home. For parents concerned about potential abuse, the current guidelines recommended by these agencies for in-home disposal is the fastest route to remove unwanted drugs from the home.

We will continue to actively work with all relevant stakeholders to educate them on the appropriate use of medicines with the goal of helping to prevent the abuse and misuse of medicines and promote safe disposal practices.

Gail J. Maderis

President and CEO, BayBio

San Francisco

➤ "Moving toward a city for everyone," Opinion, Thursday

Look up to Seattle

In response to your editorial on housing for the middle class, I think San Francisco should follow the example of Seattle.

Seattle, like San Francisco, has had robust job growth due to the tech sector. But Seattle has not allowed NIMBYs to constantly block housing development.

Since 2005, Seattle has built twice as much housing as San Francisco has in spite of the fact that Seattle has only three-quarters of San Francisco's population.

As a result, the median price for a two-bedroom apartment in Seattle at $1,750 compared to $3,450 in San Francisco and a Seattle resident with an average salary only spends 30 percent of their income on housing compared with 50 percent in San Francisco.

You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. The NIMBYs and anti-development naysayers are clearly the problem.

E.F. Sullivan

San Francisco

➤ "Police concerns about Waze app grow," News, Thursday

Why is Waze a problem?

Isn't one goal of the Waze app to have speeding drivers know when a police trap is coming up and slow down? Or know where police activity is occuring and avoid it? Isn't that an admirable goal in the public interest?

Isn't that the same goal that law enforcement has, or should have? The only reason for law enforcement to oppose Waze is to allow officers to meet allegedly nonexistent arrest quotas for speeding, or merely create work, when Waze actually seems to free up officers to attend to other crimes.

And how exactly according to one sheriff's office does the Waze app put officers' lives at risk when it slows drivers down? Seems pretty nonsensical to me.

Ann Grogan

San Francisco

➤ "Supes ask cops about trends," News, Sunday

Too many cops at protests

About your reporting on some supervisors seeing a need for more police. If we are so short of police, how is possible to a have 50 or more police at peaceful demonstrations?

These demonstrations take effect several times a year and we seem to have plenty of police to spend their time lolling about on the fringe. The overtime pay they likely receive working the demonstrations is a concern as well.

Can we please have the police do what is expected — to protect and serve — and use only the very minimum number at demonstrations?

Denise D'Anne

San Francisco

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