The Department of Health estimates that unused medicines cost the NHS in England around £300 million every year.
There is an estimated £110 million in wasted medicine, which is returned to pharmacies for safe disposal annually, in addition to an estimated £90 million worth of unused prescription medicines stored in people’s homes and £50 million worth of NHS supplied medicines that are disposed of annually by Nursing Homes.
The cost to St Helens is approximately £1 million, which could pay for:
St Helens CCG is launching a campaign which aims to reduce the amount of unused and wasted medicines across the Borough and save up to £1 million which can be reinvested into frontline services. But we need the help of all patients in St Helens to enable us to achieve this.
You can help us by...
- Only ordering what you need, check what medicines you still have before you re-order your prescription. If you have enough please only order what you need
- Please finish any course of antibiotics that you may be prescribed, even if you start to feel better
- Don't stockpile medicines. They can go out of date and may be harmful if they do
- Talk to your GP about your medication on a regular basis, you may not need some of your medication any longer
How Pharmacies are helping
- Your pharmacist will, if they order you prescription for you, ask you before they order to check that you do actually need every item it that month
- Your pharmacist may invite you for a Medicines Use Review to give you the opportunity to discuss your medication and how to use it
- Your pharmacist will take any unwanted medicines that you no longer need off you and dispose of them properly
- Your pharmacist can give you advice on any of the medicines you are taking whether they are on prescription or you buy them
How your GP is helping
- Your GP will review your medicines with you at least once every year
- Your GP will update their systems to make sure they are as efficient as possible
- Your GP or nurse will check you are taking the medication that you are prescribed properly and that it is right for you
- Your GP may review the amount of tablets / capsules on your repeat prescription if they are not regular medicines that you take every day
Our campaign will run from January throughout the year so do keep your eye out for our posters and billboards in the town and listen out for our radio commercials on WISH FM, and please do try to help us save as much money as possible.
Hate Waste. Love your NHS.