This New Year, make it your resolution to return your meds!

VANCOUVER, Jan. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The BC Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) and the Capital Regional District (CRD) have joined forces to urge members of the public to make a New Year's resolution to bring their unused medications back to their local pharmacy.

Unused medications can pose a significant health, safety and environmental hazard when improperly stored or disposed. British Columbians can return expired or unused medications to pharmacies across the province at no cost.

Parkash Ragsdale, Deputy CEO of BCPhA, said, "Medications that are flushed down the drain or tossed in the garbage can pose a serious threat to our environment, children and pets.  As we begin 2012, we're encouraging the public to make it their resolution to return their unused medications to their pharmacy."

The BCPhA and CRD medication returns campaign involves more than 60 pharmacies in the capital region. Larisa Hutcheson, General Manager of the Environmental Sustainability Department at the CRD, said: "We're excited to partner with the BCPhA this year to raise awareness and educate residents on the options available for proper disposal of unused medications. In our region, keeping medications out of our marine environment is an important factor that contributes to our environment's well-being."

In 2010, the CRD continued to record a higher medication return rate per capita than most regional districts in the province. "With this partnership we hope to see even more participation from residents in 2012," added Hutcheson.

More information about returning unused medications to pharmacies can be found at www.medicationsreturn.ca. For information on the CRD's Regional Source Control Program, including a short video on medication returns, visit www.crd.bc.ca/medications

The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,600 pharmacists and 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is the regional government for the 13 municipalities and three electoral areas that are located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The urban centre of the CRD is the City of Victoria, and the regional district also includes many of the Gulf Islands, a number of rural municipalities and a vast tract of wilderness that lies along the south-western coast of Vancouver Island.

SOURCE British Columbia Pharmacy Association

For further information:

To interview a pharmacist in the greater Victoria area, please contact Elise Riedlinger, BCPhA: 604.269.2866 / elise.riedlinger@bcpharmacy.ca

To discuss the CRD's program, please contact Henry S.H. Lee, CRD: 250.360.3216 / hslee@crd.bc.ca

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