The Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr Paul McAuliffe, has welcomed the launch of a new campaign in Finglas on the safe disposal of unused medicines.
The Finglas Cabra Local Drug & Alcohol Task Force launched the campaign today to increase public awareness of the risk of accidental poisoning, overdose, inappropriate sharing of medicines and potential damage to our environment resulting from having unused or out-of-date medication lying around the home.
In collaboration with the pharmacies in the Finglas and Cabra area, the campaign also encourages the public to bring unused or out-of-date medication to their local pharmacy where they can be disposed of free of charge.
Speaking at the launch, the Finglas Councillor said, “Almost every home has out-of-date or unused medicines. Unfortunately having such medicines lying around the house can lead to accidental poisonings or overdose if the medication was originally prescribed to someone else.
“European patient organisations estimate that between 20% and 30% of patients do not adhere to medication prescribed, and 30% to 40% fail to follow instructions designed to prevent health problems. When long-term medication is prescribed, up to 50% of patients fail to adhere to the prescribed regimen. This results in a lot of unused medicine lying around our homes.
“This campaign in the Finglas and Cabra area aims to highlight the risk associated with unused medicines and to outline to people how best to dispose of them. It’s fantastic to have local pharmacies on board for the campaign. I also believe we need specific, detailed Irish research examining the issues behind patients’ compliance with medication instructions, with a view to improving the adherence to treatment plans. This should involve all the stakeholders, from patients and the public to health professionals, policy makers and medicines manufacturers.”