REPRESENTATIVES of the B.C. Pharmacy Association, Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of Health are urging community members to return their old medications to their local pharmacy to protect themselves, their families and the environment.
According to a press release, B.C.'s Medications Return Program ensures the safe and effective disposal of old or expired prescription drugs, as well as oral dosage over-the counter medications and natural health products. Residents can return those medications to community pharmacies across the province at no cost.
Expired medication can pose serious health risks to individuals if not disposed of properly, says Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid in the release. Therefore, it's important that people are aware of the program.
Old medications should not be flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash. It's easy for consumers - and much better for the environment - to take outdated or unneeded medications back to pharmacies, to ensure they will be safely disposed, added Malcolm Brodie, chairman of Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Committee and Mayor of the City of Richmond.
According to the Post Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association, consumers are returning increasing quantities of unused medications to pharmacies in the Metro Vancouver region.
In 2008, before the B.C. Pharmacy Association and Metro Vancouver launched a public awareness campaign, less than 18,000 kilograms of medications were returned to pharmacies in the region. In 2012, consumers returned more than 36,000 kg of medications.
For more information, visit medicationsreturn.ca.