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Parliamentary questions
3 May 2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

EU legislation on medicinal products for human(1) and veterinary use(2) requires the Member States to ensure that appropriate collection systems are in place for medicinal products that are unused or have expired. In addition, this legislation requires that, where appropriate, the packaging of medicinal products contains information on specific precautions relating to the disposal of unused medicinal products or waste derived from medicinal products, as well as a reference to any appropriate collection system in place.

The detail of how collection systems should operate is for the Member States to decide. Several have opted for separate collection by pharmacies, free of charge, with subsequent transfer to specialised treatment facilities.

The Commission is aware of the issue of unused medicines and its economic impact on national health systems and of the recent report of the European Parliament on access to medicines. Measures regulating the organisation of the health systems and the delivery of care are a responsibility of the Member States.

(1)Directive 2001/83, Article 127b
(2)Directive 2001/82, Article 95a.

Last updated: 15 May 2017Legal notice