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Old medicine man

Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018

Priceline Pharmacy Pharmacist Hany Aita with bottles of medicine dispensed in the mid-1960s. Priceline Pharmacy Pharmacist Hany Aita with bottles of medicine dispensed in the mid-1960s.

By Emily Ferguson

Local pharmacist Hany Aita had a patient return two bottles of sleeping capsules from the mid-1960s.

One bottle was dispensed in 1964 and the other in 1965 from a local pharmacy. 

The medicine was returned to the pharmacy as part of the Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicine Competition.

The competition is a federal government-funded initiative, the Return of Unwanted Medicines Project.

Hany Aita was one of the four winners of Australia’s Oldest Medicine Competition, alongside others with medicine that dated back to 1879 and medicine that was handed in by a World War 2 veteran.

The project aims to raise awareness of the importance of discarding unwanted or expired medicine safely.

Disposing of unwanted or expired medicine improperly, like in everyday garbage or flushed down the toilet, allows for severe environmental risks.

Any unwanted or expired medicines can be returned to local pharmacies at any time for safe collection and disposal.

To date, more than 8 million kilograms of unwanted medicines have been collected Australia-wide.

Hany Aita, a pharmacist with the local Priceline Pharmacy, became aware of the Return of Unwanted Medicine Project towards the second half of last year after reading about their competition online.

He decided to enter considering he received the bottles of old sleeping capsules around two months beforehand.

Unwanted medicines are returned to the pharmacy on a regular basis, once or twice weekly.

Mr Aita often has inquiries about disposing of old medicines, as some people are aware of the cause, but most aren’t.

“If you have anything, bring it in. It’s very important, it helps patients dispose of extra medicine in a safe way,” he said.

Storage of unnecessary medicine in the home could lead to confusion or accidental poisoning, as medicines can lose their effectiveness and become toxic once they pass their expiry date.

Keeping any medicines that are expired or unwanted can be a risk of harm to you, your family and even household pets.

To find out more, visit returnmed.com.au

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