Return Unwanted Medicines (or the RUM Project) is one of the first initiatives that provides consumers with a free and convenient way to dispose of expired and unwanted medicines. Anyone can return their household medicines to any community pharmacy anytime, for safe collection and disposal.
Return Unwanted Medicines is a national not-for- profit company funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Department of Health to address the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) in Australia. The returned medicines are disposed of by high-temperature incineration, which is in accordance with regulatory and EPA requirements.
Storage of expired and unwanted medicines in the home can be harmful – especially to small children. Elderly people may become confused with too many medicines in the home and this can lead to “medication mismanagement”, often requiring hospital care.
Medicines that are disposed of down the sink or toilet, or put in rubbish bins, can also lead to poor environmental consequences.
RUM bins are found in all PBS approved community pharmacies across Australia.
Please note that the medicines can be returned to any community pharmacy for safe disposal and they do not need to be taken back to the pharmacy that they were purchased at.
For more information about Return Unwanted Medicines and how its works, check out this short video or talk to your pharmacist.
If you are a pharmacist, click here for more information.