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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi encourages industry to unite in support of Return Unwanted Medicines this festive season

Health Industry Hub | December 5, 2022 |

As we head into the festive season, Sanofi is inviting the Australian healthcare industry to join them in supporting Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM), to raise awareness of the environmental impact of incorrect disposal of unused and expired medicines.

Research shows that approximately 70% of Australian adults do not know how to safely dispose of medicines, and there is low awareness that throwing away unwanted and out-of-date medicines can have a negative impact on the environment.

The RUM Project partners with pharmacies, who collect unwanted medicines via specialised bins at no cost to consumers. Returned medicines are then safely disposed of in accordance with regulatory and Environment Protection Agency requirements.

The program supports quality use of medicines and better environmental outcomes because unwanted medicines aren’t disposed of inappropriately, including down the toilet or thrown out with household garbage, which may end up in waterways or landfill.

Project Manager, The RUM Project and Practising Pharmacist, said “We want to thank the Australian healthcare industry and Sanofi for their ongoing support. For over 20 years we have worked collaboratively with pharmacies in Australia to create free and convenient ways for consumers to dispose of expired and unwanted medicines. Today, anyone across the country can return medicines at their local pharmacy for safe collection and disposal. While awareness is on the rise, there’s still a lot more we can do. We’re hoping that with advocacy like that of Sanofi and other organisations in sharing these important messages, we can help overcome this educational gap.”

Rupert Hugh-Jones, Head of Corporate Affairs Sanofi Australia and New Zealand, commented “The healthcare industry supports millions of Australian’s every year with medicines and treatments. At Sanofi, we recognise that climate change presents one of the greatest challenges of our age and that environmental protection is a key to protecting the health of people worldwide, into the future too. We’re proud to invite and unite with our industry peers and others across the healthcare sector to help support Australia’s world-leading Return Unwanted Medicines program and, in a way, give back to the planet this Christmas.”

Since it started 24 years ago, The RUM Project has collected and disposed of over 12 million kgs of unwanted medicine – but there is still more out there. That’s why, this season, Sanofi is giving back by encouraging industry and others to share RUM’s important message as widely as possible.

Working in partnership, Return Unwanted Medicine and Sanofi have created a set of easy to use RUM branded social tiles and posts. All that industry and other healthcare organisations need to do to get involved is download the content and tiles. The festive feel of the content means it can be used any time across December or early in the New Year.


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