As of January 1, 2013, producers of pharmaceuticals, including
natural heath products (NHPs), are now required to provide for the
collection and disposal of expired or unused pharmaceutical
products in Ontario. This requirement is established Ontario
Regulation 298/12, entitled Collection of Pharmaceuticals and
Sharps – Responsibilities of Producers (the
“Regulation”), made under the Environmental Protection
Act. The Regulation aims to divert pharmaceutical products from
landfills and sewers where they can have a harmful impact on the
The Regulation applies to prescription drugs, over the counter
drugs (OTCs) and NHPs sold to consumers in Ontario, though there
are some exceptions identified with the end result that generally
only oral dosage forms of OTCs and NHPs are covered. Producers
should verify if their individual products are covered by one of
the exemptions. The producer responsible under the Regulations may
be the manufacturer, brand owner, importer or first seller
depending on the business structure.
The Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) (formerly
known as the Post-Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association)
has a provincially approved plan in place to meet the producer
requirements of the Regulation. Producers can comply with their
obligations simply by becoming a member of the HPSA in Ontario.
Similar regulations and HPSA programs are already in place in
British Columbia and Manitoba, with other provinces likely to
follow suit in the future.
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