Every year, French pharmacies throw away 15,000 euros of non-expired medicines and parapharmacy products, i.e. 1 billion euros of waste per year: here is the (terrible) conclusion of the new report by Capitalbroadcast on M6 this Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Medicines, creams, shampoos… Journalists have revealed that many products are taken off the shelves and destroyed before they even reach their expiry date. The reason ? Pharmacists believe that they cannot market products with a shelf life of less than 3 months. Same observation with wholesalers, who distribute the products to pharmacies.
“It’s an economic, ecological, but also social waste because people need these products (…) The Secours Populaire told us that there was a lack of products“says Emmanuelle Cohen, the director of the report.
A mess that stems (in part) from overproduction by laboratories
“When we see all this waste and all these products destroyed, we wonder why they are not given, why we do not legislate. When you see a chemotherapy drug costing 13,000 euros a box going in the trash, you say to yourself that there is something wrong.“However, no law obliges pharmacists and wholesalers to destroy their expired products within 3 months.
How to explain this mess? The overproduction of the laboratories would constitute one of the causes of this incredible waste. An overproduction that does not flow “of an obligation, but of a use“, according to the director.
Good news (all the same): local initiatives are emerging to put an end to this situation. This is particularly the case of the start-up “Le Comptoir des pharmacies”, a destocking network reserved for pharmacies which allows them to sell their unsold products at discounted prices.
Read also :
- A Breton start-up fights against the waste of medicines
- Waste: in the health sector, 20% of spending is unnecessary
- Shortage of medicines: 2,400 stockouts observed in 2020