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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Prescription Waste

It is estimated that as much as £300million is wasted every year on unused or partially used medication.

This could pay for ...
11,778 MORE community nurses or
80,906 MORE hip replacements or
19,799 MORE drug treatment courses for breast cancer or
300,000 MORE drug treatment courses for Alzheimer's or
312,175 MORE cataract operations

Approximately £4.67m of unused medicines are wasted every year in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Of this, we estimate that:
£1.7m is returned to pharmacies because it is not needed
£1.4m is kept in the home and is out of date

However, £0.78m is disposed if in Care Homes

Once an unwanted medicine has left the Pharmacy, it cannot be reissued even if it hasn’t been opened.

By reducing the amount of wasted medicines, we could reinvest the funding in other vital health services.

When you take medicine away from a pharmacy it must be paid for by the NHS out of your taxes.  If the medicine is not used, this is money wasted.

To prevent Waste:
O      Please open the bag – if you don’t need all the medicine please hand it back at the counter or to the delivery driver
O      If you can’t take a medicine tell your GP, pharmacist or nurse
O      Once a medicine has left the pharmacy, it must be destroyed, even if it has not been opened
O      If you need over the counter medicines, like paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen you can buy them from your pharmacy or supermarket for as little as 25p a box.  Please, don’t ask for them on prescription
O      If you work in a Care Home, please take the time to check that your patients need all the medicines prescribed to them
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