How You Can Reduce Medicines Waste
Wasted mediacation is costing NHS Berkshire nearly £6m every year
Sometimes patients receive medicines they don't actually use, or use only occassionally. This means that they can lose out on the intended health benefits of their prescription. That can be a major headache in more ways than one.
Not only does it mean that that their symptoms can get much worse if left untreated - the latest Department of Health report suggests this can cost the NHS many, many millions in avoidable extra treatment costs - it also means that these medicines cannot be used again and need to be incinerated.
There are a number of reasons patients do not take their medicines as prescribed including;
- patients not believing the medicine is necessary;
- possible side effects;
- fitting taking or using medicines into daily routines;
- choosing between medicines if patients’ feel they are taking too many, and;
- cutting down or stopping medicines they have been taking for a long time.
NHS Berkshire launched a medicine waste campaign on Monday 20th February as part of an NHS South Central-wide campaign where it is estimated that wasted medicines cost £20million every year. This could pay for;
- 785 more nurses, OR
- 20,000 more treatment courses for Alzheimer’s, OR
- 1,319 more treatment courses for breast cancer, OR
- 5,393 more hip replacements, OR
- 20,811 more cataract operations.
There are three key campaign messages which patients can do to help make more of their local NHS;
- Only order what they need;
- Return their unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal and;
- Take their medicines with them when they go into hospital.
For further advice about your medicines, please ask your GP or Pharmacist or visit www.medicinewaste.com