Sustainability

Applaud gift of near-expiry lozenges instead

I commend the Ministry of Health for giving away free lozenges nearing the expiry date to those being vaccinated (Lozenges nearing expiry date, April 27).

First, medicine should never be wasted. While these lozenges are not prescription medicine, they serve a medical function. Giving them to those who may need them is better than destroying them.

Second, such lozenges do not generally have their quality deteriorate suddenly upon reaching the expiry date. A more appropriate way is to regard the date as a best-use-by date.

Third, these lozenges are given free and not sold. Those not comfortable receiving them can always not take them.

Fourth, this act of giving away near-expiry lozenges should be encouraged as a step towards achieving a sustainable future by preventing wastage.

Putting all these in perspective, instead of complaining about the donor and the distributor, we should praise them. We should encourage people to follow their example and not waste medicine.

In some countries, there are organisations that set up collection boxes for people to donate their unwanted or extra medicine. Let us do this, save resources and sustain our future.

Leong Choon Kit (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'Applaud gift of near-expiry lozenges instead'. Subscribe