The PSA has welcomed the appointment of Victorian pharmacist Toni Riley as Project Manager of the RUM Project.
Riley will take over as the new project manager from September 1, 2015, replacing Simon Appel OAM, who has been in the role since the inception of the Return Unwanted Medicines program in 1998.
PSA president Joe Demarte congratulated Riley on her appointment saying she is well-placed to continue the work initiated by Simon.
Demarte also congratulated Appel for his achievements, especially for getting RUM underway. The RUM program is responsible for the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of 700 tonnes of medicines each year.
Appel says after recently completed successful negotiations with the Government for a new three-year funding agreement for RUM, he decided that this was the perfect time for him to retire and enjoy his other life interests.
An audit last year reported that every year in Australia, approximately 500 tonnes of medicines find their way into landfill and waterways.
“This can result in the development of cumulative long-term exposure of communities to trace amounts of drugs which is of particular concern to vulnerable people in our society,” says Demarte.
“The audit pointed out also that the unsafe disposal of antimicrobials such as antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals, may also contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance.
“The RUM Project is a very positive step in addressing these issues and concerns.
“PSA has long been a strong supporter of the RUM Project and we look forward to working with Toni to ensure its ongoing success.”