17 July 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Urgent need to address the dangerous discarding of unused medicines in Ireland
There is an urgent need to address the dangerous discarding of unused medicines in Ireland, according to Deputy Colm Burke, Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central.
The Irish Pharmacy Union recently published alarming research showing that, in Ireland, one third of unused medicines are dangerously discarded.
“I believe the Irish Pharmacy Union has highlighted an important issue and I support their proposal for
a national Dispose of Unused Medicines Properly (DUMP) scheme.
According to the IPU report, 27% of unused medicines are discarded in bins or flushed down sinks or toilets, with 2 out of 5 people completely unaware of the dangers of incorrect disposal.
Commenting on the findings, IPU Vice-President Eoghan Hanly said, “There are real and significant risks to health and the environment from improperly disposing of medicines. Given the low level of awareness of the environmental risks, a DUMP scheme should include a public awareness campaign to boost compliance.”
According to Deputy Burke, “We must provide a structure and effective system for unused medicines.
“The measures proposed by the IPU would be a significant step in addressing the serious environmental and public health implications of dangerous practices in regard to the disposal of unused medicines in Ireland.”