Initiative to encourage return of unused medicine

SIR, — I have pledged my support to the new initiative being spearheaded by leading health organisations to encourage people to return their unused medication.

The Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency is this week challenging people to do an annual stock of their medicine cupboard or storage area in their home to find medication which is no longer necessary. 

It is estimated that every year, 90 tonnes of medication estimated to cost in the region of £6m is returned to community pharmacies as waste which costs the NHS an additional £400,000 to dispose of. 

Aside from this financial benefit, this action will ensure the health and wellbeing of all.  

For instance, it will prevent danger of medicines being accidentally consumed by children and adults which may have been left around the home or in cabinets. 

In addition, it will also prevent the abuse and misuse of legitimate medication which may be sold on illegally, such as diazepam.

This week’s campaign challenges us all to find these medicines — or those which have expired —and bring them to the local community pharmacies or to dispose of them in so-called Remove All Preion and Illegal Drugs bins.  

Yours etc,


South Down MLA.