The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is to undertake a full roll out of the “Take Back Unwanted Medicines” (TBUM) programme after a successful pilot run with selected pharmacies within the Greater Accra region.
The TBUM programme, launched in October last year, is intended to highlight and ensure the safe disposal of expired and unused medications by the general public.
A number of pharmacies were selected as outlets and provided with receptacles for the safe disposal of expired, unused and unwanted medicines by the public for onward collection by the FDA for their eventual safe disposal.
Speaking to the media at a virtual press soiree, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, announced the full roll out of the initiative to cover the entire country. She said the TBUM programme was necessary to rid the markets and homes of, and discourage consumption of expired and unused medicines which could compromise the public health situation in the country.
“It is important for these medicines to be disposed of in a safe manner so as to reduce their negative and toxic effects on the environment, prevent them from getting into wrong hands and to protect public health and safety’’, she advised.
Wrongful disposal of medicines have been found to cause public health challenges as such formulations leach into water bodies and subsequently find their way into water supplied to homes for consumption, or taken in by animals which causes unforeseen consequences for such creatures or consumers of such animals.
The CEO emphasised the need for proper disposal of drugs to significantly reduce its toxic effects on the environment and also prevented them from getting into the hands of people who did not need them.
The FDA per the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) is mandated to ensure safe disposal of medicines.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo