July 2015 – Government agrees 3 year funding

The Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project is pleased to announce that it has received further funding from the Commonwealth Government for another 3 year period through to the 30th June 2018.

This national program, running through every community pharmacy across Australia, provides a system of safe and environmentally friendly collection and disposal of over 700 tonnes of unwanted and out dated medicines every year.

The new Funding Agreement for the RUM Project will provide for the costs of the ongoing collection and disposal of returned medicines along with analysis of these medicines and research into the reasons why consumers are returning them.

This Agreement will continue the partnership developed through previous Agreements between all levels of Government, consumer groups, community pharmacy, wholesalers and the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Warwick Plunkett, Chairman of the RUM Project, expressed pride in the ongoing success of the program, but emphasised the need for pharmacists to be efficient in their collection process to make the best use of Government funding.

Mr Plunkett said: “We ask pharmacies to limit the packaging materials placed in RUM containers wherever possible. The cost associated with transport and incineration of the returned medicines is directly related to the weights collected, and exclusion of packaging will assist in maintaining the service”.
Mr. Plunkett added “the RUM Project Management has coordinated this highly successful program since July 1998 overseeing the safe destruction of over 7000 tonnes of returned medicines through Australian pharmacies that would otherwise pose a risk to our environment.
We acknowledge the outstanding support for this project provided by community pharmacists, pharmacy wholesalers and official pharmacy organisations represented by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Without this generous support for the philosophy of the project, and logistics support from the pharmacy wholesalers, the project could not have succeeded”.

Simon Appel OAM
Project Manager
Mobile: 0417 600 419