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Disposal of unwanted medicines

If you have unused/expired prescription medicines or medicines that you bought over the counter, just bring them to the pharmacy for a safe disposal. This is a free service available to the public. It is not safe to put unwanted/expired medicine in domestic bins.

Any medicine you return to the pharmacy cannot be used by the pharmacy again. It’s therefore very important that you don’t stockpile medication at home and only request medication that you need. Stockpiling is also dangerous as there is a possibility of mixing your new medicines with your old ones and it is also a safety risk to children and others who might take them. Every year over £300 million of NHS money is wasted by unused prescription medicines.

Each year, large quantities of unused and expired medications are dumped into bins or flushed down toilets and sinks. The effects on the environment and human health are unclear but the evidence is pointing to the presence of chemicals from prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in the soil, drinking water and the surrounding environment. It is very important that you return unwanted medicines to a local pharmacy for safe disposal.

Speak to a member of staff if you have any questions about the disposal of unwanted medicines.