Authority seeks to remind the public that the improper disposal of expired medicines may pose serious health risks to individuals.
Dubai residents should drop off any expired or unused medicines at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) pharmacies from where it will either be disposed of safely or donated to those in need, a senior health official said.
“The department disposes of expired medicines safely, while unused medication is donated after being re-evaluated by experts,” said Dr Ali Al Sayed, director of the pharmaceutical services department.
Since 2013, the DHA’s pharmaceutical services department has donated Dh21.3 million worth of medicines to charities.
Through the latest run of the campaign, the authority seeks to remind the public that the improper disposal of expired medicines may pose serious health risks to individuals.
“For example, flushing down the medication is harmful for the environment and pollutes the water,” Dr Al Sayed said.
Throwing them in garbage bins, on the other hand, may pollute the soil even if they are packed tightly, he added.
“The best way to dispose of expired medications is to return the medicines to DHA pharmacies. “We encourage residents to drop off their medication at any of the DHA pharmacies across primary health centres or those attached to Rashid, Latifa, Dubai and Hatta hospitals,” he added.
The authority launched the ‘Clean Your Medicine Cabinet’ campaign in 2013 to raise awareness about the right method of storage, disposal and donation of medicines.
“Since that campaign, medicines worth Dh21.3 million have been donated to various charities in the UAE,” he said.
“We donated medication worth around Dh2 million every year from 2013 to 2017. In 2018, we donated medication worth around Dh7.3 million and, in 2019, we have so far donated medicines worth Dh4 million,” added Dr Al Sayed.
He said there has been an increase in public awareness and that more people are donating their unused prescription drugs.
This article originally appeared on khaleejtimes.com