Disposal of Unwanted Medicines

Community pharmacy contractors are obliged to accept back unwanted medicines from patients.

The regional NHS England team will make arrangements for a waste contractor to collect the medicines from pharmacies at regular intervals.

The contractor must, if required by the regional NHS England team or the waste contractor, sort them into solids (including ampoules and vials), liquids and aerosols; the waste contractor will be able to advise on whether this is necessary.  Additional segregation is also required under the Hazardous Waste Regulations.

Service Specification

Essential Service 3 – Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Service Specification

Please note that Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Service Specification was published in 2004 and subsequent changes to environmental legislation and policy have occurred.


Visit CPE for more info on the following:

  • Collection of unwanted medicines and out-of-date stock
  • Pre-acceptance waste audit
  • Guidance and Resources
  • Frequently asked questions

Anenta Ltd:

NHSE&I regional teams are responsible for making arrangements for the collection of waste medicines from pharmacies, to enable contractors to fulfil their responsibilities under the Essential service, the disposal of unwanted medicines; and NHSE&I should notify pharmacies of the arrangements they make.

Anenta Limited is increasingly being contracted to collect and dispose of the waste, therefore all pharmacies should register with Anenta to ensure they have access to its services. This can be done here: https://vector.anenta.com/nhse_registrations

Anenta’s online system allows contractors to make service requests, get advice on issues with the service, or to simply seek advice on waste management in general. The system also holds compliance documentation on behalf of each pharmacy and other relevant communication, service level requirements and FAQs.

Contact details

Tel: 0330 1222 143

Email: support@anenta.com

Open a service ticket within your online account at: www.vector.anenta.com

Anenta Limited website is at: www.anenta.com

Please note, it is the pharmacy’s responsibility to ensure they have space to accept clinical waste from patients, therefore if you are running out of space, please contact Anenta in the first instance to try to arrange another collection. Should you have any issues around this, please contact NHS England: england.pharmacyreturns@nhs.net.