2015 National Medicine Take-Back Campaign Collects 620 Tonnes

Record amount of unused and expired drugs recuperated in 2015

TORONTO, March 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Companies Limited, in collaboration with the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada (PDFC), are proud to have collected 620 tonnes of expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine during their third National Medicine Take-Back Campaign.

Each year, the campaign encourages Canadians to clean out their medicine cabinet of expired drugs and drop them off at any one of the 1,800 pharmacies participating nationwide. The campaign ran from July to December 2015 and set a record amount for collection. The record was previously set by the 2014 campaign which saw 390 tonnes of expired drugs dropped off at Shoppers Drug Mart locations.

This year's campaign theme, "Keep Your Drugs off the Streets," describes the dangerous reality of the misuse of prescription drugs and OTC medicine by teenagers. This initiative will help keep these medications out of the hands of youth and promote awareness and best practices of medication use and disposal. The campaign can be viewed at www.SecureYourMeds.ca.

In working together, PDFC, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Loblaw Pharmacies are encouraging behavioural changes in Canadians when it comes to proactive disposal of expired medications and promoting environmentally-friendly means for drug disposal.

"I want to thank the thousands of Canadians who answered the call and returned their unused and expired medications to Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacies for safe and environmentally-friendly disposal," said Mike Motz, President of Shoppers Drug Mart.  "As part of our commitment to promoting safe medicine use and children's health, we are proud to work with the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada."

Awareness is essential in altering teenagers' perception of prescription and OTC drug experimentation. 61% of parents exposed to the campaign said they had spoken specifically to their kids about the risk of misusing prescription drugs to get high, compared to 42 per cent of parents who hadn't been exposed to the campaign. As a result – overall, 61 per cent of kids believe misusing prescription drugs to get high is a very risky practice.

"The devastating effects of addiction to prescription drugs are being felt by many families and communities in every region of the country," said Marc Paris Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free. "By taking unused prescription drugs back to your local pharmacy, you are eliminating a key source of access for many Canadian youth. Working together, we can help reduce the abuse of these substances and encourage all Canadians to lead healthier, drug-free lives."

To supplement its national campaign, the PDFC provides a variety of online tools and resources (www.canadadrugfree.org) designed to equip parents with reliable information about drugs and the dangers of misusing prescription drugs. The website also features tips for parents looking to have an honest and convincing conversation with teens about the dangers of drug abuse.

About the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada
The Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada is a private sector, non-profit organization that creates and disseminates drug education and prevention messages with the help of their partners in advertising, research and media. PDFC also offers parents tools and practical tips on how to start the dialogue at www.canadadrugfree.org

About Shoppers Drug Mart
Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing.  The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec).  With over 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada.  The Company also licenses or owns 59 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale.  As well, the Company owns and operates 50 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.  In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services; and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is a unique and independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.  For more information, visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

About Loblaw Companies Limited 
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder ofChoice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 192,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.

Loblaw's purpose – Live Life Well – puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the companies' stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at more than 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® locations and more than 500 Loblaw locations; PC Financial® no-fee banking; affordableJoe Fresh® fashion and family apparel; and three of Canada's top consumer brands in Life Brand®, no name® and President's Choice®. Through the PC Plus® and Shoppers Optimum® loyalty programs, more than one in every three Canadians are rewarded for shopping with the companies.

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

For further information: Roxanne Chaudier, 514-375-2725, roxanne.chaudier@hkstrategies.ca; Lana Gogas, Shoppers Drug Mart, 416-493-1220 ext.5141, lgogas@shoppersdrugmart.ca


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