WORDS LIM TECK CHOON
Alpro Pharmacy hosted an industry roundtable, called Safe Medication Disposal Practices in Malaysia–Past, Present & Future, on 15th December 2022 at Monash University Malaysia.
THE NEED FOR PROPER DISPOSAL OF MEDICINES
- According to Foon Hwei Foong from Malaysian Community Pharmacy Guild, unwanted medications disposed into landfills are reabsorbed by water streams. This means that these medications eventually leads back to the water that we drink.
- Dr Saw Pui San, a lecturer from Monash University Malaysia’s School of Pharmacy, cited how irresponsibly discarded contraceptive medicines ended up in our waterways and caused the sterilization of fishes.
- Antibiotics are strictly regulated prescription medication, and many efforts were made to prevent antibiotic resistance. However, another often overlooked possible cause of antibiotic resistance is the leakage of improperly discarded antibiotics into our water systems.
THE POLICY IS THERE, BUT THE AWARENESS AMONG THE PUBLIC IS LACKING
- Amrahi Buang, President of the Malaysian Pharmacists Society, stated that laws and policies are in place across all access points of medication distribution in this country, with the Malaysian National Medicines Policy (MNPP) clearly stating the measurements and governance in place for medication safety.
- He opined that health and medication literacy is still lacking within the Malaysia public, hence the need for an pharmaceutical industry medium to act as an education platform for the public.
- Furthermore, he stated that pharmacists are strongly encouraged to start working collaboratively with their colleagues as well as other key players in the pharmaceutical industry to educate on, implement, and practice safe medication disposal.
- Ostwin Paw, the CEO of Alpro Foundation, called for leaders in the industry to kickstart the conversation on the impact and risks of unsafe medication disposal methods on the environment.
ALPRO PHARMACY HELPS TO LEAD THE WAY
- Lim En Ni, the Chief Pharmacist of Alpro Pharmacy, shared that Alpro Pharmacy launched the Safe Medication Disposal campaign in 2021 in a joint effort with several key pharmaceutical companies in the country.
- To date, the initiative has safely disposed more than 1,000 kg of medication waste as well as garnered more than 100,000 signatures from the community pledging their support within 3 months since July 2022.
|One of the key initiatives of the Safe Medication Disposal campaign is the placement of dedicated medication disposal bins at all Alpro Pharmacy outlets nationwide to collect excess medicines for proper and ethical disposal. For more information on this as well as on proper medical disposal, click here to visit the Safe Medical Disposal Campaign webpage (link opens in a new tab).