If you have unused/expired prescription medicines or medicines that you bought over the counter, just bring them to the pharmacy for safe disposal. This is a free service available to the public. It is not safe to put unwanted/expired medicine in domestic bins.
This service is available at our pharmacy. Please ask in store for more information.
Stockpiling of medicines
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.
Safe disposal of 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 prescription 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.
How to bring medicines back to Westchem Pharmacy
In the first place, it is best you return your medicines to the pharmacy that dispensed them. This way you can discuss with the pharmacist on the bast way to reduce the amount of returned medicines, this will help to reduce the burden of wasted medication on the NHS. Please ask your pharmacist about electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) for a more efficient way to manage your repeat prescriptions.
At Westchem Pharmacy, please only bring the actual medicines back and remove all patient identifiable material such as labels. The NHS is planning to reduce the carbon footprint, so please recycle all the outer paper/cardboard packaging at home.
From time to time, when a loved passes away, we understand that there may be a large amount of tablets to return. Please call our pharmacist to discuss the best way that this can be managed. We normally provide the NHS disposal bags for the medicines to be brought back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
The NHS only commissions community pharmacies to dispose of pharmaceutical waste i.e. medicines and any clinical waste such as needles has to be disposed via the Bromley Council, please click on the following link to arrange collection https://www.bromley.gov.uk/clinicalwaste