Ontario Sharps Collection Program Offers Safe Disposal of Used Medical Devices

OTTAWA, July 26, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario's community pharmacies have become the collection point of choice for those who need to dispose of their used needles, syringes, lancets and alike, says the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) which oversees the Ontario Sharps Collection Program.

The 'Take Back' program offers those managing chronic illnesses a convenient, province-wide network of nearly 4,000 participating pharmacies for their used devices. In an assessment of the program's awareness among diabetics in the province, 64 per cent said they used their local pharmacy to dispose of these devices, up from 44 percent when the program started in 2013. Most of the remainder polled, however, admitted they still put these devices in the garbage.

"It is vitally important to keep these used devices out of the garbage where they can pose a danger to young children and pets in the home and a danger to wildlife at landfills," said Ginette Vanasse, HPSA's Executive Director.

When the pharmacist receives the used medical sharps, HPSA arranges for the collection and safe disposal of them in accordance with strict guidelines and regulations, she said.

"Our 'Take Back' service is available free of charge. When an approved sharps container is dropped off, a new container is provided to safely dispose of sharps at home until it can be dropped off at a participating pharmacy. It is safer than keeping them in a drawer or repurposed container."  

In 2016, 273 tonnes of used medical sharps were collected and safely disposed of through the Ontario Sharps Collection Program. The association also oversees the Ontario Medications Return Program for the return of unused or expired medications. HPSA manages similar 'Take Back' programs in British Columbia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.



SOURCE Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA)

For further information: Ginette Vanasse, (613) 723-7282, gvanasse@healthsteward.ca


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