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Prescription drug disposal effort pays off in Vancouver area

February 3, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Many residents of the Metro Vancouver region in Canada are being vigilant about disposing of expired or otherwise unneeded medications, and Canadian officials have a creative way of explaining the volume of medication that has been processed. The British Columbia Pharmacy Association reports that the more than 450,000 kilograms (nearly 100,000 pounds) of medication disposed in Metro Vancouver in 2014 is equivalent in weight to “almost 10,000 sockeye salmon.”

The BC Medications Return Program was launched in 2008 and has seen significant growth. The total annual amount of medication safely disposed through this initiative has more than doubled from its 2008 level of around 18,000 kilograms, according to the pharmacy association.

All prescription and over-the-counter medications are included in the free program for British Columbia residents, and the effort that is coordinated through community pharmacies also encompasses oral formulations of natural health products.

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