National Return of Unwanted Medicines

RUM Project Manager, Mr Simon Appel, reported record collections for the year to 30 June 2013. Retail Pharmacies and Pharmaceutical Wholesalers are to be congratulated on their support for this important nationwide program.

However, there are limitations and we all need to address greater efficiencies. Mr Appel said: “A record 650 tonnes has been collected this year, and collections continue to increase. The RUM Project is a free service for consumers, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health & Ageing, and increasing collections means we must all be as efficient as possible”.

Increased demand for RUM Project containers will be difficult to satisfy and pharmacists are urged to be efficient in loading of containers. For example, we should not include product packaging and compliance aids in RUM Project containers. Pharmacists should compact RUM container contents, and recycle the packaging of returned medicines where practical, rather than include the packaging in RUM containers.

Mr Appel continued “the RUM Project has been very successful. Community pharmacy provides an excellent free resource for disposal of unwanted and out of date pharmaceuticals from consumers. This disposal process is consistent with responsible environmental protection, and is an important – program in support of consumer medication management.

As our population ages, the RUM Project resource will become even more important with efficient and secure disposal. We need to be as efficient as possible through the collection and disposal process, and that includes efficient “loading” of the containers”