Taipei to launch year-end drive for collection of old medication


The China Post news staff

In a major year-end cleanup, Taipei will set up more than 300 recovery points to collect expired medication, the city announced yesterday. The city will work with hospital and community pharmacies to set up the 363 “drug recovery points,” where professional pharmacists will accept and sort the expired drugs handed over by citizens and offer drug use safety advice. “Recovery is different from recycling,” said Yi Li-chen (易麗珍), a pharmacist. “Recovery means the turning in of expired drugs for centralized reprocessing, which would prevent the re-sale of such drugs,” she explained, adding that recycling could imply potential uses that might do harm.

Since its introduction of the recovery points on April 2, 2010, the city has recovered 23,575 kg of unused or expired medicals, including 13,944 kg of solid drugs, 2,624 kg of drug containers and packaging, which can be recycled, and 3,487 kg of syringes and needles.

Designating the week ending Dec. 10 as the city’s “Home Drugs Safety Inspection Week,” the Taipei Department of Health called on the city’s citizens to protect themselves from the threat of expired drugs by closely examining the drugs found in their homes. Citizens are advised to visit the Taipei Department of Health’s websites at http://www.health.gov.tw and http://www.tpa.org.tw/DrugsInspection/index.htm for locations of the recovery points, or call a hotline at 1999, ext. 7105, for further information.