The cost of wasted medication
Unused prescription medicines cost the NHS in the UK an estimated £300million every year. This could pay for:
- 11,778 MORE community nurses or
- 80,906 MORE hip replacements or
- 19,799 MORE drug treatment courses for breast cancer or
- 300,000 MORE drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s or
- 312,175 MORE cataract operations
How Can You Help?
1. Only order the medicines that you need
- Please 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 ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription forms and only tick those you really need
- If you don’t need the medicine please don’t order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
- If you need to go into hospital, please remember to take all your medicines with you in a clearly marked bag.
- Please also remember that your medicines are prescribed only for you; it’s not safe to share them with anyone else.
2. Remember that unused medicines cannot be recycled
- Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the Pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
- Please bring your unused medicines to the Pharmacy for safe disposal.
- NEVER dispose of your unused or unwanted medicines down the toilet
3. Unused medicines are a safety risk
- Return out of date medicines to your pharmacy or dispensary for safe disposal
- If your medicines change – return your old medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal to avoid mixing them up with your new medicines
- Don’t stockpile medication – it is a safety risk for children and others who might take them
- Store medicines in an appropriate place out of reach of children
This information has come from the following source