The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has instituted a programme to promote the safe disposal of expired and unused medications by the public.
The “Take Back Unwanted Medicines” (TBUM) programme aims to provide outlets where these unwanted medicines can safely be disposed of in order to save the public from consuming expired and unused medicines.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, speaking at the media launch in Accra, said people usually dispose their medicines by flushing them down the toilet, emptying them in the sink or simply throwing them in the bin because there is no publicly known and easily accessible means of disposing medicines.
She said the practice posed a big challenge to the environment as they may leach into water bodies and end up in the community water supply system.
She thus emphasized the need for proper disposal of drugs to significantly reduce its negative and toxic effects on the environment and also prevented them from getting into the hands of people who did not need them.
Mrs Darko further indicated that the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) had specific provisions in its Section 132, clauses (2) (3) (4), that mandated the FDA to ensure safe disposal of medicines.
She said the FDA, in that direction, will be running the TBUM programme on a pilot basis in the Greater Accra Region with 50 Community Practice Pharmacists before scaling it up to other parts of the country.
“These community pharmacists have been provided with safely located containers/bins where the public can drop their unused or expired medicines for safe disposal,” she said.
Mrs. Darko further noted that the next phase of the programme will be to include pharmacists and over the counter medicine shops in others regions.
“We hope that companies will partners us and the community pharmacies as part of their corporate social responsibility to ensure that the populace is protected from the dangers of improper medicine disposal,” she added.
The partner pharmacies include ADS Pharmacy, Ayalolo Pharmacy, Chara Pharmacy, Charlton Pharmacy, CS Allot Pharmacym Ashongman, Haatso, and Legon branches, Daelyn Pharmacy, Empat Pharmacy, Ernest Chemist, all branches, FAB Pharmacy, GB Pharma GH Ltd, Osu, and Maginald.
Others are Mokat Chemict Ltd, Mycro Chemist, Paramedica Pharmacy, Parker Pharmacy, Tex Chemists, WestPoint Pharmacy, Wiler Pharma Limited, Yakos Chemist, Jucad Pharmacy, Firdaw Pharmacy Pharmatrust, Add Pharma, all branches, Top Up Pharmacy, all branches Camden Pharmaceuticals, Ansa Pharma, Unicorm, Randy Pharmacy, East Cantonment Pharmacy, all branches, and Mawena Pharmacy.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri