Fish can’t say no to drugs, so #ReturnYourMeds

National, | Oct 17, 2016

In May, the BC Pharmacy Association partnered with the Vancouver Police Department, Metro Vancouver, London Drugs and the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) to urge the public to safely dispose of their medications to ensure they don’t get into the wrong hands or pollute the environment.

Given the prediction by BC Health Minister Terry Lake in May that the province will likely have a record number of drug overdoses in 2016, the public was reminded that the safe disposal of medication is especially critical.

Prescription drugs can be effective in helping people to manage pain and other conditions, but can have deadly consequences if used inappropriately.

The Association also produced an entertaining and educational video to promote medications return on the theme of “Fish Can’t Say No to Drugs,” funded by the HPSA. You can view the video at and share it on social media, using the hashtag #ReturnYourMeds to promote  the message.

To coincide with National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day on May 21, Vancouver patients were encouraged to bring unused or expired medications to select Vancouver police stations, community centres and London Drugs pharmacies.

The BCPhA created a new entertaining and educational video to promote medications return on the theme of Fish Can’t Say No to Drugs. The video was funded by the Health Products Stewardship Association. View the video at

BCPhA members Michal Israel and Yan Xia volunteered their time at the Prescription Drug Drop-off Day at Kerrisdale Community Centre on May 21.

BCPhA member David Au volunteered his time for the second year in a row to accept and count medication returned to the Trout Lake Community  Centre on May 21, as part of the week-long drug  drop-off program in Vancouver.

BCPhA members David Au, Michal Israel and Yan Xia volunteered their time to accept and count medication returned at community centres in Trout Lake and Kerrisdale on May 21. A total of 50 pounds of pills (more than 37,600 pills) was returned during the week, in addition to creams, ointments, liquids, sachets, nebules, doses and strips. The public was also reminded that medication can be returned to community pharmacies across BC at any time of the year.

In conjunction with the VPD, the Association held a media event at London Drugs in Vancouver on May 16 to kick off the program, with comments given by David Pavan (BCPhA past president), Martin Bruce (inspector with the VPD), Malcolm Brodie (chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee and Mayor of Richmond) and John Tse (vice president of pharmacy at London Drugs). The event received media coverage on CBC Radio, CTV News, News1130 and BCIT Evolution Radio.

The BCPhA also partnered with several regional districts to issue joint press releases in the Capital Regional District, Squamish-Lillooet, Northern BC, Alberni-Clayoquot, Central Okanagan and Nanaimo.

Coverage was received in several regions, including Nanaimo News Bulletin, Kelowna Now, Kelowna Daily Courier, Goldstream News Gazette and the Bridge River Lillooet News.

A total of 95 per cent of pharmacies in BC participate in the Medications Return Program, which is run by the HPSA.

For information on setting up your pharmacy to collect returns or to order brochures about the program visit