What is the safest way to dispose off unwanted medicines?
If you have a lot of regular medication or have had a health issue which is now resolved, it can be easy to build up a stash of medication which is no longer needed and may well be out of date.
With the NHS under constant financial pressure, it seems wasteful to throw away medicines which may be unopened and are still in date. The NHS estimates that around £300 million is wasted annually on unused medication. Despite the prescription charge patients pay, the NHS subsidises the cost of medicines so every time they are issued, there is a cost to the NHS which is utterly wasted if the medication is never used.
There are protocols about how you should dispose of these unwanted medicines.
- You can return unwanted medicines to your pharmacist or chemist for safe disposal, this would include unopened, unused and out of date medication
- Never keep medicine that is out of date just in case you might need it at some point in the future; at best, it is likely to be ineffective and at worst, it could be very dangerous
- Asthma inhalers should never be put into general domestic waste as they contain gases which can be harmful to the environment
- Never give your unwanted medicines to a friend or family member to use
- Never flush medicines down the toilet, this can have a severe environmental impact
- Blister packs that house tablets are non-recyclable, however, the cardboard packaging and any information leaflets can be recycled
You can help the NHS save money by only ordering medicines you really need. Pharmacy To My Door can help you dispose of unwanted medicines safely. You can also dispose of medicines online by emailing our service team who will advise how to package medicines and where to send them for safe disposal. There is more information on our website www.pharmacytomydoor.co.uk