A world-first initiative in the management and removal of expired and unwanted medicines from the community.
Return Unwanted Medicines (or the RUM Project) is a scheme 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 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.
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.
Go to the areas in your home where you store medicines. Read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines. Consider whether you actually need them.
Remove all of unwanted medicines from your home medicine area and place them in a bag or container.
Return your unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist will put your medicines in a secure bin for collection and safe disposal.