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Unused medications can be returned to pharmacies

The B.C. Pharmacy Association (BCPA) and Metro Vancouver are urging the public to dispose of their unused medications in a safe way.

Old and expired medications are potentially harmful if they are swallowed by children or pets. Medications also need to be carefully disposed so they do not contaminate the environment. They should be returned to a pharmacy.

“The good news is that more people than ever are taking their unused medications back to their pharmacy,” said Metro Vancouver board chairman Greg Moore.

“Our hope is that by continuing to work with the region’s pharmacists, we can make even more people aware of how easy it is to have unused medications disposed of safely,” Moore added.

Parkash Ragsdale, deputy CEO of BCPA, said that community pharmacists are in the ideal position to promote safe medication returns and have been helping to protect both their patients and the environment for many years.

“For 2012, we’re encouraging the public to make it their resolution to return their unused medications to their pharmacy,” she added.

In 2008, before the BCPA teamed with Metro Vancouver to launch a public awareness campaign, less than 18,000 kilograms of medications were returned to pharmacies in the region. In 2010, consumers returned 29,791 kilograms of medications. More than 375 pharmacies are taking part.

Further information about returning unused medications to pharmacies can be found at www.medicationsreturn.ca.

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