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Legislator Burke Demands Albany Stop Siding with Lobbyists and Hold Big Pharma Accountable


Legislator Patrick Burke is taking action to stem the growing interference of Albany in local government’s power and jurisdiction.

“For the past few months I have been working to pass the Erie County Pharmaceutical Water Pollution Act- a bill that would ensure pharmaceutical companies pay their fair share when it comes to the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs. Currently, pharmaceutical disposal programs are paid by the taxpayers of Erie County. The pharmaceutical industry has an obligation to provide for the safe and proper disposal of its product. All too often when prescription medication sits in people’s medicine cabinets it can be misused by children or for a lesser pain than was prescribed. This is a pathway to addiction that can be avoided if residents are provided free, safe, and accessible drug drop off programs.”

“Unfortunately, a few days ago Albany passed a bill that will not allow any of this. By approving S.6750/A.387B state lawmakers have chosen to side with the pharmaceutical lobby and have also chosen to strip power away from local municipalities” Burke said.

The bills feature a strongly worded preemption clause that specifically bars any local municipalities, including city, town, or county government from issuing any local law or ordinance on “all matters pertaining to drug disposal of controlled substances.” The power now rests solely with the State of New York.

Legislator Burke has written a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to veto S.6750/A.387B along with county legislators from across the state.

“This is a heavy handed power grab by Albany to tie the hands of local government from doing what it thinks best with regard to local issues. This was orchestrated by the pharmaceutical lobby to reverse the tide of unfair advantage- they want to maintain the status quo and keep asking more and more of our residents. I say enough is enough” Burke said.