Even more old medicines

RUM old medicines

The entries continue to roll in for our ‘Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicines’, co-run by AJP and the Return of Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project

The main image is from a selection of medicines returned to Malouf Pharmacies Harbourside, in Cleveland, Qld.

Pharmacist Anna Malouf says “these medicines are SO old – that I am not sure if it was a requirement to record Expiry dates on packing at the time of their manufacturing…. “

The medicines include a box of Romilar sugar-coated cough suppressants, a bottle of Di-Gesic tablets, and a pack of Avil retard antihistamines.

Among the other recent medicines which pharmacists have received are:

A 1987 bottle of Hibiclens antiseptic Skin Cleaners dropped in to Star Discount Chemist Smithfield, NSW, by a “lovely old nan” according to pharmacist manager Alex Kramm

old medicine RUM

Two containers of smallpox vaccine, dated January 1972 turned up at Super Pharmacy Plus, Stafford, Qld


Some pharmacies are finding a range of old medicines in their own stock.

A search of the bottom back corner of the S8 safe at Neringah Hospital pharmacy revealed a hypodermic syringe box dated 1 June 1948, containing vials of morphine, atropine and scopolamine hypodermic tablets.

The morphine tablet vials are empty but 9 atropine and 19 scopolamine tablets remain, says pharmacist Ann Carter.


There are 3 ways pharmacy can enter the AJP and RUM ‘Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicines’ competition and share the image of the oldest medicine they collect during the competition period:  

  • Upload the image to the AJP Facebook page;
  • Post the image to their own Facebook page, tagging @AustralianJournalofPharmacy; or
  • Email the image, along with your pharmacy name and contact details, to chris.brooker@appco.com.au

Be sure to include the medicine’s expiry date in the image, and take care to conceal / protect any personal details on the medicine label. 

Most importantly, once you have uploaded / posted / emailed AJP an image of the oldest medicine collected, place it in the pharmacy’s RUM bin for safe disposal

Visit the ‘Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicines’ gallery on the AJP website during the competition period to see what ‘old gems’ have been collected. Expect some interesting (and hopefully not too dusty) finds!

The next winner will be revealed in our Saturday 23 September newsletter.

For more information about RUM, click here visit

*Terms & conditions apply


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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.

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