VANCOUVER, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The new year is a great time for a fresh start - and the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet! The BC Pharmacy Association, Metro Vancouver, and Ministry of Health urge British Columbians to return their old medications to their local pharmacy to protect themselves, their families and the environment.
"We are encouraging everyone to make a new year's resolution to safely dispose of their expired or unused medications," said Ralph Lai, president of the BC Pharmacy Association. "British Columbians can return these medications to community pharmacies across the province at no cost."
BC's Medications Return Program ensures safe and effective disposal of old or expired prescription drugs, as well as oral dosage over-the counter medications and natural health products. More information on the program can be found at www.medicationsreturn.ca.
"Expired medication can pose serious health risks to individuals if not disposed of properly," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "It's important that people are aware of and take advantage of the BC Medications Return Program."
"Please don't flush your medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash," said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Committee and Mayor of the City of Richmond. "It's easy for consumers - and much better for the environment - to take outdated or unneeded medications back to pharmacies, to ensure they will be safely disposed."
According to the Post Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association, consumers are returning increasing quantities of unused medications to pharmacies in the Metro Vancouver region. In 2008, before the BC Pharmacy Association and Metro Vancouver launched a public awareness campaign, less than 18,000 kilograms of medications were returned to pharmacies in the region. In 2012, consumers returned more than 36,000 kg of medications.
The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,700 pharmacists and almost 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.
Metro Vancouver delivers regional services, planning and political leadership on behalf of 24 local authorities. MetroVancouverRecycles.org is an online guide to more than 1,400 locations in the region where you can donate, recycle or appropriately dispose of those items you no longer want.
SOURCE: British Columbia Pharmacy Association
For further information:
To interview a pharmacist in the Metro Vancouver area, please contact Elise Riedlinger, BCPhA: 604.269.2866 (office), email@example.com
To interview a Metro Vancouver spokesperson, please contact Glenn Bohn, Communications Specialist: 604.451.6697 (office), 604.314.5964 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
To interview a Ministry of Health spokesperson, please contact Ryan Jabs, Media Relations Manager, B.C. Ministry of Health: 250.952.1887 (media line)