Search for Australia’s oldest medicine

Nick Logan medicine return

A family history in pharmacy is revealed by an unwanted medicine return

Well-known Sydney pharmacist Nick Logan received a reminder of his family history in pharmacy when a patient returned a bottle of Butisol tablets for destruction in his Artarmon pharmacy.

Mr Logan said “they were dispensed at my grandfather’s pharmacy in Macquarie St Dubbo some time before he retired in 1977 (no legible date)

“He has his residential address on the bottom of the label where I lived as a child at age 4.”

Nick Logan medicine return

To encourage pharmacy to support the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) new consumer campaign, AJP has teamed up with RUM to ‘Search for Australia’s Oldest Medicines’.

There will be four prizes during August and September, for pharmacy’s that collect the oldest medicine from a customer. Each of these will WIN one (1) APP 2018 conference registration, worth $780, for the pharmacist / pharmacy assistant of their choice to attend.*     

The first winner will be revealed next Saturday 

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

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 winning pharmacies, along with images of the oldest medicines collected, will be announced on the AJP website during the competition period. Pharmacies can enter as many times as they like during the competition period.

For more information about RUM, click here visit

*Terms & conditions apply

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  1. Jarrod McMaugh

    I’ve worked in the pharmacy in Nathalia, which has been on the same premesis for over 100 years. They have in their records dispensing books from this time. Can’t remember if there were any RUM-type meds though. The record books were pretty interesting.

  2. Tony Wiss

    “Be sure to include the medicine’s expiry date in the image…”.
    That will eliminate 90% plus of potential candidates I reckon as most tablets etc were taken from a larger container and dates were not part of the labelllng in my early days in pharmacy which was decades before computers.

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