National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines

The National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines, known as the RUM program, is a national not-for-profit company, set up to enable consumers to return unwanted or out-of-date medicines to any pharmacy, at any time. The medicines returned are in no way reused or recycled.

Page last updated: 06 February 2008

To avoid accidental childhood poisoning, medication misuse and toxic releases into the environment, a system has been implemented for the safe disposal of unused and out-dated medicines.

This program uses the national community pharmacy network to collect expired and unwanted medicines from consumers. These are then destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner using high-temperature incineration. This means of disposal avoids the significant environmental health hazard posed by inappropriate disposal through the sewerage system and landfill.

To support this program, funding is provided to National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Ltd. This not-for-profit company collects and destroys unwanted and out-of-date medicines and expects to collect data that will help to identify the reasons for and types of medicines being returned for destruction.

Go to the National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Ltd website at http://www.returnmed.com.au