HPSA currently operates in four provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
The following products can be returned in the respective provinces:
- Prescription drugs (BC, MB, ON, PEI)
- Over-the-counter medications (BC, MB, ON, PEI)
- Natural health products (BC, MB, ON, PEI)
- Medical Sharps (ON, MB, PEI)
Check here to find a participating pharmacy near you.
No. Return programs operated by HPSA are free of charge for the consumer.
Any of the following items that are unwanted:
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter medications
- Natural health products
In British Columbia and Ontario, unused, expired or unwanted medications for your companion animal are also accepted.
Please note that only prescribed medical cannabis are accepted.
You can return your items to any participating pharmacy. Either call your local pharmacy to confirm their participation or check here for the nearest participating pharmacy.
No. While this may have been done in the past, this method may have potential harmful effects on the environment. Disposal via the toilet will take your drugs into the local sewage system where treatments plants are not fully designed to deal with the medication. The best method of disposal is to return medications to a participating pharmacy.
No. This is no better than flushing them down the toilet because they still end up in the same place. It’s even worse if your home uses a septic system. Drugs can leach into the local water table, eventually coming out somewhere, like a nearby lake or stream, or out onto your own property, where pets, livestock or wildlife could be at risk. The best method of disposal is to return medications to a participating pharmacy.
No. Safety experts strongly discourage throwing them into the trash where children or pets can find them. Your trash will eventually make it to a local landfill, where your medications could still have the potential to leach out. Many municipal or regional districts have local household waste facilities where you can safely drop off your medications for disposal. Check in your region for more information.
Not usually. The pharmacy located near your doctor’s office will probably take medication returns. Either call the pharmacy to confirm or check here to find the nearest participating pharmacy. In some First Nations it may be possible to return medications – check with your doctors office.
Empty all dry medication such as pills and tablets into a bag or container. Remove or black out any personal identification. Keep all liquids, creams and inhalers in their original packaging and remove all personal identification. Return to your local participating pharmacy.
Returned medications are picked up from participating pharmacies and sent to a licensed incineration facility for safe destruction.
- Medical Sharps-related
To ensure the safe disposal. Improper disposal puts garbage and municipal workers, janitors, housekeepers, household members, children and pets at risk of being harmed by needle stick injuries.
The following items used on humans or companion animals are accepted in the medical sharps return programs:
- Infusion sets,
- Safety pens,
- Pen needles,
- Syringe with needles attached,
- Needles and needle tips,
- Pre-filled cartridges and pre-filled syringes.
These items should be used by individuals in their homes to inject medications by piercing the skin.
Please note that medical sharps used on companion animals are also accepted.
Used medical sharps should be collected in a sharp approved container available free of charge from participating pharmacies.
Biomedical sharps are treated using a high-pressure steam sterilization process (typically a commercial autoclave). Cytotoxic sharps are treated using high temperature incineration.
Any retail community pharmacy that is open to the public in the province of ON, BC, MB, and PEI may become a collection site. Participation in our programs is voluntary and free of charge. To register, pharmacies should submit a “Collection Location Agreement” form.
Please note that the HPSA Collection Location Agreement is not a substitute for a commercial waste disposal service agreement. Before submitting the form, pharmacies should ensure to have the commercial waste disposal service agreement.
The term “retail community pharmacy” means an independent pharmacy, a chain pharmacy, a supermarket pharmacy, or a mass merchandiser pharmacy that is licensed as a pharmacy by the college of pharmacists and that dispenses medications to the general public at retail prices. Such term does not include a pharmacy that dispenses prescription medications to patients primarily through the mail, nursing home pharmacies, long-term care facility pharmacies, hospital pharmacies or clinics.
HPSA’s medication and medical sharp containers are to be used solely for consumer returns. HPSA needs to ensure that any commercial medical waste generated by pharmacy (i.e. expired or unsold medication stocks, flu or immunization shots such as COVID-19 vaccine) is not being disposed of in the HPSA containers.
Below a non-exhaustive list of commercial medical waste disposal service providers:
GIC Medical Disposal – 1-844-999-0118
Daniels Health – 1-888-952-5580
Medical Solution – 1-866-611-5519
ECS Cares – 1-800-263-1857
Stericycle – 1-866-783-7422
Environmental 360 Solutions – 1-833-463-3607
Your HPSA ID is the two-letter initials of your province (ON, BC, MB, or PE), followed by 6 digits comprised of your pharmacy accreditation number with the provincial college. For example, an Ontario pharmacy with accreditation number 1234 will have HPSA ID# ON001234. Your unique HPSA ID can be found in your HPSA Welcome e-mail.
You will receive an initial delivery of HPSA containers upon registration. Once containers are full, you can request a service online via the HPSA webpage. A Service and Supply Request Form (SSRF) can be completed and submitted here.
Only consumer returns are accepted in medications and sharps containers.
Please note that HPSA sharps containers are for the general public use only and should NOT be used for any sharps generated by the pharmacy’s operations (flu shot/immunization).
COVID shots or rapid tests are NOT to be collected in HPSA’s containers.
Pharmacies can accept any approved sharps containers from members of the public. Used sharps should not be returned in bottles, tin cans or laundry detergent containers. Click here to check examples of accepted and not accepted sharps containers.
The name of your service provider can be found in your HPSA Welcome e-mail.
British Columbia – Environmental 360 Solutions Ltd. (formerly Whitecap Environmental) 1-866-489-4483
Manitoba – Stericycle 1-866-783-7422
Ontario – Stericycle 1-866-783-7422 ECS Cares 1-800-263-1857
Prince Edward Island – MacInnis 1-902-892-9333
Your Service and Supply Request Form (SSRF), found here, is forwarded to your service provider. They will contact you advising you on the date of your next service. Please note that if you are on a frequency delivery, you do not need to submit an SSRF.
To re-register your pharmacy, please fill out the Collection Location Agreement Form, found here.
Yes. To set up a service on a set frequency, please contact your service provider.
Your service provider will give you the Bill of Lading when the containers are picked up from your pharmacy. HPSA recommends keeping the shipping document for a period of two years.
The Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) is a not-for-profit organization representing producers of consumer health products (CHP) in Canada. HPSA was formed to fulfill the producers’ stewardship obligations in provinces with regulations that require them to ensure the safe and effective collection and disposal of unused and expired consumer health products.
Consumer Health Products (CHP) are products sold directly to the consumer and include:
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-Counter medications
- Natural health products
- Medical sharps
Medical Sharps include: infusion sets, safety pens and syringes with needles attached, lancets, needle tips, needles, pens, pen needles, pre-filled cartridges and pre-filled syringes.
You are a producer if:
- You are the owner of or licensee of the brand or rights holder under which the affected health products are sold to consumers in provinces with regulations.
- You are the importer of the affected health products into provinces with regulations.
- Your products are sold to consumers under a brand name that the manufacturer owns, licenses or has rights to in provinces with regulations.
According to the provincial regulations, any producer who sells consumer health products is required to either have an individual approved plan or join an association with an approved plan.
You must complete the registration form and provide HPSA with the appropriate payment. Click here to download the membership form.
HPSA offers services to fulfill your Consumer Health Products stewardship obligations in regulated provinces. This includes providing approved plans, public education campaigns and collection programs. HPSA administers these programs to facilitate collections, management and the safe disposal of your products through participating pharmacies. On behalf of your organization, HPSA also submits Annual Reports to regulatory bodies which require them as part of the regulations.
HPSA is 100% funded by registered producers of consumer health products.
Registered producers pay an annual fee to HPSA. This fee is based on administrative charges per program and market share based on sales reported by producers.
Upon review of your yearly sales, you might only have to pay the administrative charge per program.
No. If you are a member of HPSA we will notify the provincial governments of your participation in our programs.
Yes. The HPSA stewardship program is for medications and medical sharp devices only. It is up to individual producers to ensure if you are captured under other provincial EPR regulations.