How to Donate Expired Medicines

Written by ehow culture & society editor
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Although all medicines purchased in the United States include an expiration date, most are still considered good long after the date printed on the package. Instead of discarding expired medicines, consider donating them to charity relief organizations for underdeveloped nations around the world.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Search online for organizations that accept donations of expired medicines.

  2. 2

    Look through your medicine cabinet at least once per year and remove all medicines that have reached their expiration dates. This includes cough and cold medicine.

  3. 3

    Contact local relief agencies to see if they accept expired medicine. Your local Red Cross is a great place to begin.

  4. 4

    Check the expiration date of vitamins while looking through your medicines. Many vitamins can make a big difference in the lives of people in need.

  5. 5

    Visit your doctor's office or clinic to see if they have any expired medicine samples they would like to donate. Offer to take them to a donation center.

  6. 6

    Call local churches or places of worship that take medical mission trips to third world countries. Normally they will be taking large supplies of medicines and medical supplies and will often gladly include expired medicines.

  7. 7

    Make a list of free clinics in your area that might be in need of expired medicines. Pain relievers, antihistamines, ointments and other items may be greatly appreciated.

Tips and warnings

  • Most organizations that take expired medicines will have specific lists of what they are looking for. Don't just drop things off or send them, especially if it is a team traveling overseas. Luggage space is limited and groups have specific things they are looking for.
  • Never send or offer controlled substances of any kind.

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