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Alliance Healthcare and Novo Nordisk, working in partnership to introduce PenCycle; the pre-filled pen recycling initiative.




Alliance Healthcare UK is working with Novo Nordisk, who are bringing out an exciting initiative to encourage your customers to return empty Novo Nordisk diabetes (insulin and GLP-1) and weight management pre-filled pens so that they can be recycled. These pens are made from high-quality, long-lasting materials that are too good to waste. By recycling them, we can help to give these materials a new purpose.


Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company, founded in Denmark in 1923. Their purpose is to defeat diabetes, obesity, rare blood and endocrine disorders, to improve the lives of millions of people in the UK. Today, they supply over half the world’s insulin.

Everything Novo Nordisk does is based on acting socially, environmentally and financially responsibly with a bold ambition to have zero environmental impact.

They are proud to be working together with a range of organisations, including Alliance Healthcare to bring PenCycle to life.


Each year, 23 million medical pens end up incinerated or sent to landfill in the UK as, until now, there has not been a viable recycling alternative. As Novo Nordisk are the people who make these pens, they want to play their part in fixing this problem.

During the pilot phase of PenCycle, we will be making the initiative available to pharmacists in:

  • Glasgow
  • Leicestershire & Rutland
  • Greater Manchester


How can my Pharmacy PenCycle?

Thank you for your interest in PenCycle.  As a central point of care, community pharmacies like yours will be key to the success of this initiative that is completely free of charge to you.

If your pharmacy is in one of our pilot areas (see list above), and you haven’t already signed up, you can do so by downloading and completing the form below.


If you would like to learn more about PenCycle please visit

Once you have completed the registration form and waste transfer note please return to us, as soon as possible, by one of the following means:


You will need to keep a copy of these forms for a minimum of 2 years, this can be an electronic or physical version



On signing up, your pharmacy will receive a starter pack containing:  

  • 25 information leaflets to introduce the initiative to people with diabetes who use pre-filled Novo Nordisk pens
  • A poster for your pharmacy to help advertise your participation
  • 64 stickers you can use as reminders in-store or on materials for pen users


In addition, you will also receive:

  • A small pharmacy display unit which can be placed on your countertop to help advertise your participation and build awareness among pen users.This unit will contain 25 flat-packed return boxes that pen users can take and use to collect their empty pens at home
  • A blue PenCycle recycling bin for collecting full return boxes in your dedicated waste area or a suitable alternative.


These materials are all provided completely free of charge by Novo Nordisk and can be ordered from us, Alliance Healthcare. You can order more materials at any time by using the relevant Alliance Healthcare PIP-CODES and placing orders via your PMR platform, myahportal or by calling Alliance Healthcare customer services on: 0330 100 0448.


How it works:

When dispensing Novo Nordisk diabetes (insulin/GLP-1) and weight management medication to pen users, introduce the initiative to them and encourage them to take home a return box and/or information leaflet so they can get started.

1. Accept pen users’ returned boxes when full

Pen users who PenCycle will collect their empty pens (with the needles removed) in their return boxes at home and return them to you when full. When you accept a full return box from a pen user, please provide them with a new, empty return box so they can continue PenCycling.

2. Collect return boxes  

Any full return boxes you receive from pen users should be stored in the blue PenCycle recycling bin. (25L Blue Pharma [EWC 20 01 32]) you received from Alliance Healthcare. Please only use this bin to store empty Novo Nordisk pens that will be returned as part of PenCycle.

3. Arrange a collection with Alliance Healthcare

When your blue PenCycle recycling bin is full, please raise an Alliance Healthcare collection via your existing account on the Alliance Healthcare My AH portal

A barcode will be provided on the portal which must be printed off and placed within the self-adhesive envelope supplied in the PenCycle welcome pack so it remains visible. Attach this envelope to the recycling bin using the adhesive backing to ensure the contents remain identifiable on their journey to the recycling facility.

Alliance Healthcare will collect your full blue PenCycle recycling bin during one of their existing delivery slots. Your blue Pencycle recycling bin will then be delivered to us so the pens can be recycled.

As with the other materials, you can order a new blue PenCycle recycling bin at any time, completely free of charge, using the relevant PIP-CODES, through your PMR platform, My AH Portal or Alliance Healthcare customer services.

Some important information to remember when talking to pen users:

  • Only empty Novo Nordisk diabetes (insulin/GLP-1) and weight management pens can be returned to pharmacies as part of PenCycle
  • Pen users must remove the needle from their pen and make sure their pen is empty before dropping it in their return box. Please ask them NOT to include the needle in the return box 
  • PenCycle return boxes can hold a maximum of 12 pens



Thank you for helping us make this recycling initiative a successful one.

Together, we can give empty pens a new purpose.


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Frequently Asked Questions


*The service is managed by Alliance Healthcare (Skills in Healthcare) in partnership with Novo Nordisk.

Please note your details will be held by Alliance Healthcare. Your Pharmacy name and address will be provided to Novo Nordisk and included on the PenCycle website to inform pen users about all pharmacies involved in the PenCycle initiative. This information will not be used by Novo Nordisk for any other purposes.

Novo Nordisk or its subcontractors will not obtain any of your personal data except for the name and address of your pharmacy.

For more information on how Alliance Healthcare protects and processes your personal information, please visit our Privacy Policy here:

Novo Nordisk considers the protection of your personal data and privacy a very important matter. Novo Nordisk seek to adhere to all privacy laws and enforce clear policies on protecting personal information. If you want to know more about how Novo Nordisk handle personal data please visit the Novo Nordisk website:

Should you have any questions about Novo Nordisk Privacy Notices or approach to data privacy, or wish to exercise your rights, you are invited to contact: