Prescription Drugs: Packaging

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th January 2018.

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Photo of Laura Smith Laura Smith Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of re-packaging unused medication that has been returned to pharmacies to reduce waste in the health sector.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government does not promote the reuse of medicines that have left the pharmacy and returned to a pharmacy by patients, as it is not possible to guarantee the quality of a returned medicine on physical inspection alone.

When medicines are returned from patients’ homes, there is no way of knowing how the medicines have been stored in people’s homes.

The July 2017 edition of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s ‘Medicines, Ethics and Practice – The professional guide for pharmacists’ states that patients should be advised that unused, unwanted medicines should be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal.

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