Wasted medicines cost £4m
WASTED medication is costing the cash-strapped NHS in Suffolk more than £4million every year.Health bosses are now urging GPs and pharmacists across the county to tackle the problem and help save money by encouraging people to only order what they need.
WASTED medication is costing the cash-strapped NHS in Suffolk more than £4million every year.
Health bosses are now urging GPs and pharmacists across the county to tackle the problem and help save money by encouraging people to only order what they need.
Thousands of posters and leaflets will be distributed to surgeries and pharmacies across the region as part of the campaign, which will run until the end of the year.
One of the main concerns is medicines on repeat prescriptions, which are ordered and collected by patients but are not needed because they have stopped using the drugs.
Christine Bower, Suffolk Primary Care Trust's (PCT) head of pharmacy and medicines management, said it was important for everyone to work together to find solutions to reduce waste.
She said: “If we can encourage more people to look in their cupboards to check what drugs they need before ordering repeat prescriptions, it could make a big difference to freeing up money to improve healthcare across Suffolk.
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“While it is important that people get the medication they need, we need everyone to be clear that it is impossible to recycle medicines. Dispensed medications that are returned unused cannot be given to someone else.”
Anyone with unwanted medicines can return them to their local pharmacy or prescribing practice where they will be disposed of safely.