Medicine waste is a serious and growing problem within the NHS. Sometimes, patients and their carers continue to request more repeat medicines than they really need and stockpile them at home. This wastes millions of pounds and huge quantities of medicines.
Did you know?
Unused prescription medicines cost NHS South Central an estimated £20 million every year. Based on average costs, this is the equivalent of around:
785 more nurses
20,000 more drug treatment courses for Alzheimer's
1,319 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer
5.393 more hip replacements
20,811 more cataract operations
Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the pharmacy they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
Unused medicines should be taken back to the pharmacy for safe disposal, NEVER flushed down the toilet or put in to household waste.
How Can You help?
- Let your GP or pharmacist know if you've stopped taking any of your medicines.
- Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering.
- Discuss your medication with your GP or pharmacist on a regular basis.
- Think carefully before ordering your repeat prescriptions and only order what you need.
- If you go to hospital, please take all your medicines with you.
- Please remember your medicines are prescribed for you, it is NOTsafe to share them with anyone else.