Huge bill for wasted prescription drugs
MORE than £1million is wasted each year in Suffolk on prescription drugs that go unused, health bosses claimed today.Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) is asking patients to help save money by re-ordering only the repeat prescriptions they need.
MORE than £1million is wasted each year in Suffolk on prescription drugs that go unused, health bosses claimed today.
Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) is asking patients to help save money by re-ordering only the repeat prescriptions they need.
Richard Hodgson, specialist pharmacist for the PCT, said: “It is important patients only order the medicines they need but remember not to over order, otherwise a patient may end up stockpiling drugs and never using them.
“Medication - even if returned untouched - cannot be reused.”
Around 70per cent of all drugs are ordered on repeat prescription but often people may not use what they are given.
There are many reasons why people do not take their prescribed medication - they may experience side effects, their condition resolves itself, or they do not realise they have to continue taking drugs because they feel better.
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Mr Hodgson said: “Talk to the doctor or nurse about why you do not take your medication. They will not be offended or upset and should discuss whether there is an alternative.
“They may explain why it is important to continue taking the medication or agree to remove it from the repeat medication list.”
Suffolk PCT has a budget of £85m a year to spend on prescription medication in the county but is currently looking at ways of reducing this in order to clear debts of around £35m.
Measures already introduced include changing the brand of statins that are given to patients with high cholesterol.
GPs are also being urged to look at other conditions to see if they can prescribe patients cheaper, generic brand drugs which do the same thing as more expensive ones with 'big names'.
The PCTs advice was triggered by Ask About Medicines week, a national initiative intended to remind people that pharmacists and other health care professionals are on hand to give advice about medication.
For advice on where to find information about medicines and health see www.askaboutmedicines.org.