Health chiefs urge patients to stop wasting medicine to save money for NHS

November 01 2016

A CAMPAIGN is running to cut the level of medicines wasted in South Gloucestershire - currently running at a cost of about £1.5 million a year.

A CAMPAIGN is running to cut the level of medicines wasted in South Gloucestershire - currently running at a cost of about £1.5 million a year.
Health chiefs said around 38 per cent of all medicines prescribed for long term conditions were not taken as recommended, with more than half of patients not realising they were taking their medication incorrectly.
Not only did that affect the health of patients but also increased the strain on NHS services. The rate of the waste is equivalent to the cost of about 49 community nurses or 34,000 GP appointments.
The Stop Medicines Waste campaign is being run by the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, which also wants to make sure that people only order the medicines they need.
Helen Wilkinson, its deputy head of medicines management, said: “Wasting medicines wastes valuable NHS resources. If we can reduce the amount of medicines wasted, this will enable us to re-invest money to benefit healthcare in our local community.
“We are asking the public to check what medicines they already have at home before ordering more, to tell their doctor if they stop taking their medication or to speak to their pharmacist if they are receiving medicines they don’t use. Pharmacists can also give advice on how to get the best from medicines.”
The campaign will be promoted by GP practices to make people aware of the true cost of wasting medicines.
Meanwhile, anyone with unwanted medicines should return them to their GP or pharmacy for safe disposal.