Free Service to Dispose of Unused Medicines Properly (DUMP)

By Seamus Whelehan

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The general public are being encouraged to rid their medicine cabinets of left over prescription drugs by turning them into their local pharmacy between now and the 18 November.
The Dispose of Unwanted Medication Properly scheme is operated by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare with the community pharmacists in Cork and Kerry and is supported by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Kerry County Council, and the Southern Regional Waste Management Office.
Prescription drugs are a common cause of accidental poisonings in young children and should be disposed of if no longer needed.
The Poisons Information Centre in Beaumont Hospital say they received 9356 enquiries in 2015 involving poisoning in humans. 5221 of these related to children under 10 years old.
The top 50 agents involved in human poisoning included drugs (59%), household cleaning products and chemicals.
92% of cases of poisoning occurred in the home or a domestic setting. Brightly coloured medications or liquids can easily be mistaken for sweets or drinks by children or other vulnerable people.
In 2016 over 4 tonnes of unwanted medicines were safely disposed of through the DUMP campaign.
While most chemists accept the expired drugs it is important that you return the unused medicines to the pharmacy they were purchased from originally.
Surplus medicines are often disposed of with other household waste, flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink.
These methods of disposal can seriously harm the environment with products ending up in landfill seeping into the soil and entering our food chain and water supply.
In East Cork Aghada Pharmacy, Brosnan’s pharmacy Midleton, Owenacurra Pharmacy also in Midleton, Clockgate Pharmacy and Murphy’s Pharmacy in Youghal are among some of the dispensing clinics taking part in the scheme.

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