When one mans trash becomes another mans treasure

We are becoming a drug dependant society driven by continuous advancement in the production of modern medicines. This has risen to the influx of thousands of drugs and medications being produced globally. However, have we considered what happens to the medicines we purchase and don’t actually use?

Globally, the amount of unused and unwanted medication left in our homes or across the industry remains a growing concern. Many unwanted and expired medicines in the community that are disposed of via general waste or sewerage end up in landfill sites and may damage the environment. They may also be found by unintended recipients including children and animals, increasing the risk of poisonings, misuse and abuse. Medicines discarded down sinks and toilets not only enter waterways affecting marine life, but also enter the water table via the sludge component of the sewage treatment process potentially affecting human and animal life. It is therefore critical that unwanted drugs are disposed of safely.

Insulin is amongst one of the most commonly discarded medicines. More than $2 million of public money is wasted each year.

An Australian audit showed that over 600 tonnes of medicines are returned through the program. A substantial proportion of these medicines were still within their expiry dates.

For individuals with diabetes, Insulin for Life (IFL) provides another option. By sending your unused and unexpired supplies to IFL, this lifesaving medication is instead used to save thousands of lives.

In Australia, according to the NPS MedicineWise, insulin is the second most commonly discarded drug with approximately 75% of all discarded insulin being in-date and unused. Yet one in two of the 100 million people who need insulin worldwide, cannot access it because it is unavailable or unaffordable. This contributes to a shocking death every 10 seconds due to diabetes related complications.

That is why IFL is committed to ensuring that these supplies are not carelessly discarded of, by collecting in-date and unneeded insulin and other diabetes supplies, and shipping them to developing countries. They are then distributed, free of charge, to those who require them.

Sharing what you no longer need can save lives.

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