Dispose of Unwanted Medicines

Friday 5 October 2012, 4:18PM
By Tasman District Council


Old medicines are a risk to yourself, your family and your visitors. Like food, medicines can go off if kept for any length of time. Plus, you should only use recently prescribed medicines as that prescription from last year might not be appropriate now.

During November 2012, another DUMP campaign (Disposal of Unwanted Medicines through Pharmacies) will be held.  In the last campaign, 9,882 items were returned to pharmacies for disposal. These medicines and packaging weighed 346kg (imagine a pile of 346 pineapples for an equivalent amount of medicines). The cost of these medicines was about $55,000 – equivalent to three hip replacement operations or 13 cataract removals.

The 2009 and 2010 campaigns, funded by Nelson Bays Primary Health, also provided information on the type of medicines returned, which helps to target medicines more effectively and reduce waste. There are many reasons why medicines are not taken, such as “the symptoms got better” or “the doctor changed the medicine” or “it made me feel worse”.

So this November is the perfect time to spring-clean that bathroom cupboard. For more information please contact your local pharmacy or Caroline Allen on Ph. 03 539 1651 or 0800 731 317 or Email