Province renews commitment to the Manitoba Medications Return Program

The Manitoba government recently renewed a partnership to collect and safely dispose of unused or expired medicines.

"We all have a role to play in the protection of our environment, so we have to be sure that the medicine that has to make us better ultimately does not lead to environmental failure," said Secretary of Sustainable Development Rochelle Squires. . "Unused medicine must be disposed of properly and can be harmful to the environment if it is thrown into the trash or flushed through the toilet."

In Manitoba, designated materials are treated with a responsibility-based model managed by non-profit organizations for producer responsibility (PROs). Manitoba has strong partnerships with 12 PROs, including the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA). Manitoba has agreed to a five-year extension to the HPSA to manage the Medication Return Program.

"With this program, last year Manitoba pharmacies were able to collect and safely dispose of approximately 16,000 kilos of unused or expired medicines," said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. "Informing and teaching Manitobans about the value of handing in their unused or unwanted medicines is of the utmost importance, both for the environment and for public safety."

Nearly 350 registered pharmacies in the province participate in the HPSA program, which also supports the Drug Free Kids Canada campaign. This Canadian charity has declared August National Drug Drop-off Month.

"Who does not need toiletries, even recipes and, at this time of the year, sunscreen," said Ginette Vanasse, director general of the HPSA. "It takes just a few minutes to put unused medication in a bag before you go shopping and give it to your pharmacist, and I urge everyone to take a few minutes in August to clear the medicine cabinets from unused, unwanted or expired medicines. "

"Community pharmacists are the most easily accessible members of our health care system and an essential resource for Manitobans," said Dr. Brenna Shearer, CEO of Pharmacists Manitoba. "We know how important it is to regularly check your home for medicines that have expired or are no longer needed and to dispose of them correctly in order to prevent misuse, accidental ingestion or environmental damage. program people can do this in an easy and simple way. "

One of the goals of the renewed collaboration between Manitoba and the Health Products Stewardship Association is to continue and develop easy, provincial access to recycling opportunities, including in northern, remote and indigenous communities.

In the responsibility-based model, industry groups and consumers bear costs related to recycling and safe disposal. In addition to medication, other examples of designated materials include tires, automotive batteries and oil and beverage containers.

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