MORE than £800,000 worth of unused medicine is wasted every single year in East Staffordshire.
The East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed the figure in a bid to get people to be ‘more aware’ of what they can do to help reduce the bill for waste.
To highlight the issue, posters and leaflets will be appearing in all GP surgeries, pharmacies and Burton’s Queen’s Hospital in the next couple of months.
Charles Pidsley, GP chairman of the CCG, said: “This is a national problem and locally we really want to make an impact in reducing the amount of wasted medicines. It is an issue that patients, GPs, pharmacists and hospitals can all play a part in reducing.”
The CCG is encouraging doctors and pharmacies to review their repeat prescription systems to ensure that changes to prescriptions are implemented quickly and those medications which have been stopped are removed from repeat prescription lists.
This will ensure that only medicines that are needed are issued and avoid the automatic repeat of all items on the list.
Dr Pidsley added: “We know some patients do like to have a spare stock of medicines ‘just in case’ but we recommend only ideally having the maximum supply of two month supply at home. We really want patients to only order medicines that they need and avoid stockpiling where possible.
“Other patients keep reordering medicines because they are worried that if they don’t their doctor may take them off their repeat medication slip. This is not the case if you are having difficulty in managing your repeat medicines.”
Unwanted dispensed medicines returned to a pharmacy cannot be used again or reissued to other patients – even if they are new – due to safety issues.