SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling over industry objections, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg is allowing Alameda County to move forward with a program that compels pharmaceutical companies to pay for the safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.

Last summer, the Alameda Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance — believed to be the first of its kind in the country — that requires companies that manufacture prescription drugs sold or distributed in the region to fund "take-back programs," sparing the county the expense.

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