May 9, 2017
A staggering 386 tonnes of unwanted medications safely destroyed in 2016
Ottawa – Canadians and their pharmacists in four provinces have helped safely destroy a staggering 386 tonnes of unused or expired medications in 2016, says the Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA) which manages medications return programs in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
“Our aim is to help Canadians easily dispose of their unwanted medications rather than throwing them down the toilet or into the garbage where they can damage the environment or endanger others,” said Ginette Vanasse, Executive Director of HPSA. The industry-funded association has been managing these types of medications return programs in Canada for two decades. The programs are available to residents in these provinces free of charge.
“We understand people’s concern about keeping these medications around the house where they may be misused or endanger family members and pets,” she said. Fifty-one per cent of households have potentially harmful drugs on hand, reports Drug Free Kids Canada, yet only 11 per cent are kept under lock and key.
“Our recovery and disposal programs are free to use and taking advantage of them is as simple as dropping by to see your nearest pharmacist.”
A survey of Canadians by HPSA last year showed that more than 90 per cent of those that use the medications return program were satisfied with their experience.
“This speaks volumes for the 5,354 pharmacists involved. Their role and the trust they have earned with their customers is vital in helping Canadians deal with household pharmaceutical waste in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”
The Health Products Stewardship Association is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association responsible for the safe management and disposal of household medications and sharps devices such as needles, lancelets and alike. It is celebrating its 20th year managing pharmaceutical returns programs this year.
The volumes of medications recovered in the four provinces in 2016 are as follows:
· Ontario – 273 tonnes
· Manitoba – 15 tonnes
· British Columbia – 88.7 tonnes
· Prince Edward Island – 4.2 tonnes