Qatar University (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) hosted the first virtual outreach campaign to raise awareness of proper disposal of unused medications at home titled “Dispose your Unused Home Medications Correctly: Safe Use, Safe disposal”.
The outreach campaign included a webinar, daily social media messages on how to dispose of medicines correctly and a promotional video highlighting the harms and risks of unsafe disposal of medicines and how to dispose of unused medicines safely over a one-week period.
The webinar was held through WebEx and streamed live on YouTube, with guest speaker Dr. Mutaseim Makki, Scientific Researcher at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia. Panelists for the webinar included QU Health Director of Academic Quality Assurance Dr. Derek Stewart, QU-CPH Professor Dr. Hesham Korashy and QU-CPH Assistant Professor Dr. Zachariah Nazar.
The webinar aimed to educate the public on the health, economic and environmental impact of improperly disposing unused medication at home and ways to minimize this medication. The webinar was followed by a rich discussion that covered many aspects including the proper ways of disposing different medications dosage forms at home, role of health care providers in minimizing the risk of improper medication disposal, local and international rules and regulations regarding proper medications disposal, and the roles governments, health, and academic institutions could play in ensuring sustainable wider public awareness related to medication wastage and unused medications
Dr. Mohammad Diab, Dean of QU-CPH, commented: “While this time is very challenging and with all the safety measures we are abiding by, and believing in the importance of reaching the public and educating them to take the right action, the College of Pharmacy succeeded in conducting its first virtual outreach campaign entitled ‘Dispose Your Unused Home Medications Correctly! Safe Use, Safe Disposal’.”
“This campaign aims at educating the public on how to properly dispose their unused home medication through a number of videos on social media platforms and a webinar. We are very proud of the College achievements and of its efforts to advance healthcare in Qatar and the world through excellence and innovation in pharmacy education, research and service,” he added.
Prof. Derek commented “The accumulation of unused and unwanted medicines at home poses a serious potential risk to patients, family members and pets. It is important that we follow the recommendations and do not accumulate unnecessary medicines, nor share our medicines with others and that we dispose of them in the proper way.”
Dr. Zachariah Nazar commented “Inappropriate disposal of medications can have serious repercussions, both on the environment and public health. This campaign is essential in delivering key messages regarding good and safe practices in requesting, using and disposing of medicines.