Assortment of drugs causes more problems than it solves

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7006.684a (Published 09 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:684
  1. Bas Van Der Heide,
  2. Erik Schouten
  1. Project officer Wemos Foundation, PO Box 1693, 1000 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Researcher Medical Department, Medecins Sans Frontieres, PO Box 10014, 1001 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands

    EDITOR,—It is estimated that between 5% and 40% of the drugs that are sold in pharmacies in western Europe are not used.1 Although the legal framework in the European Union prohibits the collection and export of drugs that have been issued to patients and returned to pharmacies, practice shows that there are many loopholes in the legislation and control.

    Several non-government organisations have carried out public campaigns to promote the collection of unused drugs for humanitarian purposes, with slogans such as “giving an unused drug will save …

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