May 9, 2017
For immediate release:
BC pharmacists help residents safely destroy 88.7 tonnes of household pharmaceutical waste
Pharmacists in British Columbia helped residents safely destroy 88.7 tonnes of expired or unused medications in 2016, reports the Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA) which manages the Medications Return Program in the province.
“Our aim is to help Canadians easily dispose of their unwanted medications rather than see these items flushed down the toilet or thrown into the garbage where they can damage the environment or endanger others,” said Ginette Vanasse, Executive Director of HPSA. The industry-funded program is celebrating its 20th successful year under HPSA’s tutelage.
In a recent survey of 1,200 British Columbians, 88 per cent said they had medications in their home. Twenty-two per cent said they had medications they no longer needed or might not use.
“We understand people’s concern about keeping these medications around the house where they may be misused or endanger family members and pets.” Ms. Vanasse said.
HPSA’s recovery and disposal programs are available free of charge and taking advantage of them is as simple as dropping by to see your nearest pharmacist.
“Of those surveyed, 90 per cent said they completely trusted the Medications Return Program,” said Ms. Vanasse. “This speaks volumes for the 1,221 pharmacists involved in our program in British Columbia. Their role and the trust they have earned with their customers is vital in helping residents 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 unwanted medications and sharps devices. In addition to British Columbia, HPSA manages similar programs in Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.