Unused medication

Am looking for some accurate information. Can anyone tell me for sure what happens to unused and unopened, and in date medication if you return it to a chemist? I was told that it gets thrown away, which seems like such an appalling waste of resources that I could hardly believe it. Surely it is cost effective to put such medication back into the system. I cannot bear to throw it away (or rather have it thrown away in the correct manner).

Hello Pippa
My understanding is exactly as gingerj has said, the integrity of the medication even unopened cannot be guaranteed and the pharmacist will take them to be safely destroyed. I agree it does seem a waste but risks cannot be taken with medication and the only way to ensure safety is for it to be disposed of by a Pharmacist.