March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Update for Pharmacies

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we are faced with and are preparing for evolving circumstances. The Australian government announced on Sunday that all non-essential services would be closed from midday today across the country, including pubs, clubs, and gyms. Essential services including pharmacies, supermarkets, banks and logistics will, however, continue to operate. 

The RUM bin service will also continue to operate within these new guidelines, with bins delivered by wholesalers to pharmacies as they previously have. During the next four weeks, pharmacies can expect to see a new RUM bin arrive at their pharmacy. The new bin has two key changes:

  • The new one-way RUM has been designed to encourage the recycling of packaging and thus used to safely dispose of the returned medicines only. It is definitely not expected that pharmacies will remove medicines from the foil or blisters but hoped that consumers will be encouraged to remove the packaging (and recycle this at home) before returning their unwanted medicines to the pharmacy for disposal.
  • The new one-way RUM bin has a lid that will need to be attached before use in the pharmacy. Once filled a red seal is to be applied before the full RUM bin can be returned to the pharmacy’s wholesaler. Each RUM bin will have directions for assembly in the pail when delivered to the pharmacy.

We endorse pharmacy workers to regularly clean their countertops, door handles etc, and to encourage anyone returning medicine to place the medicine directly into the RUM bin to minimise physical contact. 

We would also like to extend our appreciation to all community pharmacies working tirelessly to keep up with an increased and unprecedented demand for medicines. 

If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact us here

The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.

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