Unwanted medicines

Did you know that medicines are the most common cause of poisoning in young children? Or that many people are hospitalised each year through medication mismanagement?

It's important that you don't put unwanted medicines in your kerbside bins or flush them down the toilet or sink. If they find their way into our local environment and waterways, medicines can harm or kill wildlife such as fish, amphibians and birds.

You can dispose of your unwanted or out-of-date medicines—free of charge—at any local community pharmacy in Australia.

Disposing of unwanted medicines

You can dispose of your unwanted medicines at any local community pharmacy in Australia through the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project.

You don’t need to return them to the pharmacy from which you bought them.

Please note: RUM disposal is not available in hospital pharmacies.

You can return:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Herbal or complementary supplements
  • Gels, liquids, or topical creams
  • Pet medicines.

All packaging, such as boxes and inserts, should be removed and disposed of separately. You do not need to remove tablets from foil strips or blister packs.

Sharps and needles are not accepted through the RUM Project. Please see the information further below on how to dispose of these items.

Your pharmacist will put your returned medicines in a secure bin for collection and safe disposal.

The medicines are then safely destroyed through high-temperature incineration in accordance with regulatory and EPA requirements.

A comprehensive FAQ list on how to return your unwanted medicines, and the disposal of specific medicines, is available on the RUM Project website.