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Post-consumer returns should still be accepted by community pharmacies

July 22, 2020
Accepting unused or expired medication from individuals poses minimal risk to pharmacy staff when handled appropriately.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some pharmacy teams may have felt it necessary to cease accepting unused and expired drugs from members of the public.

This is a reminder that both the ACP Code of Ethics (Principle 6.3) and standard 5.14 of the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP) require registrants and pharmacies to accept unused and expired drugs when returned to the pharmacy.

ACP recognizes that the SOLP 5.14 states, in part, “…unless accepting the drug or item would pose a health risk or hazard to pharmacy staff.” However, accepting these post-consumer returns from individuals currently poses minimal risk for the transmission of COVID-19 to pharmacy staff when handled appropriately.