What you are supposed to do with old or expired drugs that may be laying around your house?
A) flush them down the toilet
B) put them in the household rubbish
C) thrown them in a fire
D) give them to the RUM Project
E) use them anyway – waste is bad
The correct answer is D
It is not safe or environmentally friendly to put expired medication in the household rubbish, and especially do not flush them down the toilet. Medicines can contaminate the environment when discarded via landfill sites and sewerage facilities. Many medications are supplied packaged in blister plastic made of PVC, which, when incinerated, produce dioxin (usually found in Agent Orange).
RUM in this circumstance is not what we mix with coca cola, RUM stands for Return Unused Medicines. It is a free service, funded by our taxes. Your local Pharmacy has special yellow bins to receive the medicines, which are then sent for high tech disposal in Victoria. RUM guidelines advise it is best to remove cardboard outer packaging (and place in the household recycling paper bin). Then, take the meds to shops next time you go, and deliver the used tablets, bottles and blister packs… to your local pharmacy. Many TMA member clinics will collect expired drugs when restocking kits, and drop them at the pharmacy for you. More info.