2015 National Medicine Take-Back Campaign Launched to "Keep Your Drugs off the Streets"

Record amount of unused and expired drugs recuperated in 2014

TORONTO, July 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart and the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada (PDFC) are proud to announce a third National Medicine Take-Back Campaign to be held from July to December 2015, including a new partnership with Loblaw Pharmacy that will increase the number of participating pharmacies to 1,800 nationwide.

The goal of the National Medicine Take-Back Campaign is to encourage Canadians to clean out their households of unused and expired prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, and to drop them off at their local pharmacy.

This year's campaign theme, "Keep Your Drugs off the Streets," is supported by highly compelling advertising aimed at raising parents' awareness of the dangers of misuse of prescription drugs and OTC medicine by teenagers.  The campaign can be viewed at www.SecureYourMeds.ca and also aims to ensure safe use of medicine and to promote environmentally-friendly drug disposal.

By working together, PDFC, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacy are promoting best practices and helping to change behaviors in Canadians day-to-day lives when it comes to medicine use, conservation and disposal.

Last year, the campaign by PDFC and Shoppers Drug Mart resulted in Canadians dropping off a record amount of unused and expired drugs at their local pharmacy – ensuring that these drugs are not abused by our kids.

The results were extraordinary: in 2014, 390 tons of medicine was recuperated at Shoppers Drug Mart – over two times the amount collected in the previous year!

"We are very thankful to Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Pharmacy for their high level of commitment to helping us rid households of medicine that can be abused by teens to get high.  We also salute over 40 media partners who have provided the Partnership with approximately $30 million in free advertising time and space during over the past two years," said Marc Paris, Executive Director of PDFC.

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

In addition to last year's convincing results, a study commissioned by the PDFC noted an evolution in Canadians' attitude towards drugs since 2013. Two-thirds 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 40 per cent of parents who hadn't been exposed to the campaign.  Over 80 per cent of Canadian parents know they can return unused or expired medicine to their pharmacy. 1

Once made aware of the problem, parents tend to share their concern with their kids. As a result, 70 per cent of kids whose parents where reached by the campaign believe misusing prescription drugs to get high is a very risky practice, compared to 56 per cent amongst kids whose parents haven't been reached by the campaign. Parents also play a key role in raising their kids' awareness on drug abuse. In fact, almost 70 per cent of teens said one of their main reasons to not try drugs is to avoid disappointing their parents.

"The devastating effects of addiction to prescription drugs are being felt by many families and communities in every region of the country," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. "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 62 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 of Choice 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; affordable Joe 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.

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1 Online study commissioned by PDFC, designed by Audience Insight and executed by Vision Critical from October 16 to 19, 2014. Margin of error on the parents' survey (sample of 425) is ± 4.8%, 19 out of 20 times; the teen survey (sample of 319) is ± 5.5%, 19 out of 20 times.

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

Image with caption: "Keep Your Drugs off the Streets (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150713_C8096_PHOTO_EN_442688.jpg

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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http://www.shoppersdrugmart.ca

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