Innovation That Matters

The project would make use of all of those unused or expired pills in your medicine cupboard | Photo source Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Student designs plan to recycle pharmaceutical drugs

Health & Wellbeing

The idea involves people donating unused pharmaceuticals, with non-expired drugs recycled into new tablets and distributed to people in need

Spotted: A student from the School of Social and Economic Sciences in Moscow has come up with a concept to reduce the quantity of expired pharmaceuticals.

The idea, which has already won first prize at the SEEDS volunteer ecological project,  consists of two parts. The first involved developing an eco-friendly brand of pharmaceutical drugs with reusable boxes for people to refill. The second part organised a recycling station for foil, aluminum, plastic, capsules, pill records and even the drugs themselves.

What is more important, says Ekaterina Egorova, the student behind the idea, is that the powder and liquids would be repurposed into new drugs, making them more affordable and accessible. 

“If the project is successful the new recycled pharmaceuticals will be donated and transported to people in need as well as to NGOs,” says Egorova.

The idea is that people would bring in any pharmaceuticals that they do not use, after which they would be examined, with only the non-expired ones recycled into new tablets. The new medicine would then be sold for a lower price, making it more accessible.

According to Egorova, the idea has no analog in other countries, and she hopes to expand the concept of medical waste recycling further.

Written By: Katrina Lane

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