NHS losing more than £1m through wasted medication in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:01 09 February 2017

People are being asked to stop unwanted repeat prescriptions.

People are being asked to stop unwanted repeat prescriptions.

Archant

People are being urged to stop wasting medication as NHS bosses reveal £1.2million worth of medication is wasted every year in North Somerset.

The staggering figure is enough to fund an extra 75,000 GP appointments every year.

Unwanted repeat prescriptions and people taking their medication incorrectly contribute to the hefty £1.2million annual spend on medication waste – with £70,000 spent each year on the disposal of unwanted medication alone.

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which plans healthcare in the district – has now launched a campaign to reduce medicines waste.

One of the CCG’s clinical leads, Dr Mike Jenkins – who is a practising GP – said: “We are asking people not to overstock and to check their cupboards and supplies, and only order items they need.

“We want to encourage patients to talk to their doctor or pharmacist if they stop taking medicines, have any questions about their medication, or if they are receiving medicine they don’t take.”

Estimates show 38 per cent of medication prescribed for long-term conditions is not taken, with 55 per cent of patients unaware they are taking their medication incorrectly.

The CCG says many people stop taking medication because of side effects, because they think it might not be needed or because it does not fit in to their routine.

Debbie Campbell, clinical lead for prescribing at the CCG said: “Ultimately we would like patients to take medicines as prescribed, however if you aren’t taking some of your medicines, we would rather you tell your GP or pharmacist than continue to order it.

“If anyone receives too large a quantity of a certain medication, this quantity can be reduced to what you need to avoid medicines waste.

“If we can reduce the amount of medicines waste, this money can be reinvested to benefit healthcare in North Somerset.”


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