Global Best Practices for Drug take-Back Programs

The professionals involved in the drug supply chain (dispensing pharmacists, wholesale distributors and drug companies) have made a joint commitment to set up a specific programme : Cyclamed. This non-profit organisation collects expired and non-expired unused drugs which patients bring back to the pharmacies for disposal and energy recovery.

This collection effort, which pharmacists have voluntarily engaged in for the past 20 years, has become a professional obligation. It responds to consumers’ strong environmental concerns and has been set up to avoid discharging drugs into the natural environment (dumps, ground and surface water, etc.).

The unused drugs collected by the pharmaceutical network are put through a clean disposal process. Each year, energy was recovered from near 12 000 tonnes of unused drugs. This process is performed using 55 incinerators which are selected for their compliance with environmental standards and recover energy as heat and/or electricity.

« Thinking Cyclamed » (le réflexe) is a natural way to help protect the environment and a public health measure to prevent household accidents.

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