National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Program (NatRUM)

The National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Program (NatRUM) is a service funded by the Australian Government that supports the safe disposal of expired and unwanted medicines.

About the program

The NatRUM Program is a national service to dispose of expired or unwanted medicines in a safe and environmentally friendly way. You can drop your unwanted medicines off at any participating pharmacy at no cost to you or the pharmacy. The program disposes of the medicines, mostly through high-temperature incineration.

Goals of the program

The program supports the quality use of medicines by collecting, transporting and disposing of unwanted medicines in a timely and environmentally safe way.

This avoids safety and environmental hazards, such as:

  • accidental childhood poisoning
  • medication misuse
  • toxic releases into the environment.

The program also provides educational material about disposing of medicines, such as:

  • what forms of medicines can be collected in NatRUM bins
  • how to dispose of medicines that come in different devices (such as asthma inhalers).

How the program works

You can return your expired and unwanted medicines to any participating community pharmacy in Australia.

The steps are:

  1. You return your unwanted medicines to a participating community pharmacy.
  2. The community pharmacy places them into a NatRUM bin.
  3. Approved logistics providers collect the full NatRUM bins.
  4. Disposal contractors dispose of them in line with Environmental Protection Authority requirements, mostly using high-temperature incineration.

There is no cost to you or community pharmacies for this service.

Who we work with

National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Limited holds the current Commonwealth Standard Funding Grant Agreement. This totals $12,457,500 (GST inclusive). It will deliver the program over the next 3 years from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026 under this grant agreement.

Learn more

For more information, visit the Return Unwanted Medicines website.

Date last updated:

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