Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Medical Services
Release Date:
Tuesday, 7 April 2015 - 4:30pm

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is inviting the public to tune in to the final part of a four-part television series on Pharmacovigilance to learn more about the proper way to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired medicines.

The series is part of the ministry’s Return Unwanted Unused Expired Medicines (RUEEM) programme designed to educate the community on why it is so important to properly dispose of medicines and can be viewed on CBN channel 51 daily starting today Tuesday, April 7 to Friday, April 17 at 7:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith, Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services said that the RUEEM programme is currently being piloted on Tortola to facilitate the safe disposal of medicines; and plans are in place to extend the programme to the Sister Islands.

In encouraging the community to engage in safe practices, Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said, “We should only keep the medicines that are currently in use and a small amount for fever and pain. The unused or expired liquids, tablets, creams, and ointments should be sealed in a plastic bag. These different medicines should either be taken to the Pharmacy at the Peebles Hospital in the patient waiting area; Qwomar Trading Limited or to the Iris Penn-Smith East End Community Clinic.”

Mrs. Wheatley-Smith is asking persons to place the bags in the RUUEM bin for safe disposal. The bins are beige in colour and have the ministry’s logo on the front. The public is reminded that the bins are solely for the disposal of medicines, and must not be used for dumping garbage.

Persons needing more information on  drug interactions, pharmacovigilance and how to dispose of unwanted medicines can contact the Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services at telephone 468-4398.

Mrs. Smith said that “It was a pleasure putting this series together to educate the community on the importance pharmacovigilance.  We hope that the community is better informed and has built capacity to effectively manage their pharmaceutical use.”

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to enabling effective use and management of medicines.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286