(L-R) Greg Moore, BC Pharmacy Association Acting Director, Pharmacy Practice Support, Derek Desrosiers, Shoppers Drug Mart Associate Owner Kiran Basran, and BC Pharmacy Association Vice President David Pavan.


YOUR medicine cabinet may contain unused or expired medications that can harm your family and the environment if not disposed of properly.

This New Year, the BC Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) and Metro Vancouver urge British Columbians to return old medications to their local pharmacy.

“The New Year is a great time to take a look in your medicine cabinet and double-check the expiry dates on your prescriptions,” said Don Cocar, President of the BCPhA. “It’s free for British Columbians to return unused or expired medications to pharmacies for safe and effective disposal.”

BC’s Medications Return Program covers all prescription drugs; over-the-counter medications including topical antibiotic and antifungal creams; and natural health products that are orally ingested, such as vitamins, minerals, traditional Chinese medicines, herbal products, probiotics and homeopathic medicines.

The best way to return your medications to the pharmacy is to either combine loose pills into a small bag, or black out your personal identification on the original containers. More information on the program can be found at

“Please don’t throw medications in the garbage or flush them down the toilet,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore. “The free service provided by most pharmacies helps to keep drugs out of the trash, away from children and others who might be harmed. It also helps to protect the environment. Medications become potential environmental contaminants when they enter our sewer system.”

The BCPhA is a not-for-profit, voluntary association, representing almost 2,800 pharmacists and more than 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.

Metro Vancouver delivers regional services, planning and political leadership on behalf of 24 local authorities. is an online guide to more than 1,400 locations in the region where you can donate, recycle or appropriately dispose of those items you no longer want.