Out of the cupboard


RUM war medicine

Possible war era injectable medicine kit brought into pharmacy, as Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicine continues 

The Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicine is certainly digging up some weird and wonderful discoveries as patient’s bring their old medicines into a pharmacy for safe disposal.

So far the campaign – jointly run by the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project and AJP – has seen medicines dispensed from the 1960s onwards’ entered.

In recent days we’ve had a 1950s dispensed medicine, and a Sydney pharmacist have a medicine brought into his pharmacy that had been originally dispensed at his grandfathers pharmacy in Dubbo.

Now we may have stepped back even further, with Super Pharmacy Plus, in the Brisbane suburb of Stafford, having a very unusual item.

Pharmacist Roy Packer said the AJP “Received this gem today for disposal, from a World War 2 widows neighbour who cleaned out their medicines chest”.

The pack which has no expiry date. Each vial contains tablets, syringe and needle as part of kit.

“I imagine they would insert a tab into the vial, draw water and inject,” Roy says. 

“The kit includes morphine, atropine, codeine and strychnine in various combinations. Cork stoppers and glass vials”.

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

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