High costs of unused drugs

ndet 97428 Wasted medicines at Boots pictured Clare Embrey
ndet 97428 Wasted medicines at Boots pictured Clare Embrey

MEDICAL experts and chemists are urging patients to help bring a stop to the hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted every year in Derbyshire on unused medicines.

NHS Derbyshire County revealed how the cost of unnecessarily prescribed and unused medicines in Chesterfield alone is about £300,000 a year which could have been used on other essential treatments.

Manager Clare Embrey, of Chesterfield’s Boots chemist, said: “Everyone can do their bit to help reduce this waste of medicines and money that could be spent on other things.”

Mrs Embrey explained how some patients ordering or re-ordering prescriptions tick all the boxes for all possible medicines when they may only require one or two types from the list.

Chesterfield’s Boots is forced to dispose of 25 medium-sized bin bags full of unused medicines every month because once medicines have been prescribed and not used they cannot be recycled.

However, those with unused medicines at home are still urged to return them to their pharmacist for safety reasons to avoid them falling into the wrong hands.

Mrs Embrey added: “People need to ask themselves if they need certain medicines before they order and agree to prescriptions and if everyone does their bit it will make a big difference to helping the NHS budget in difficult times.

“Many who don’t have to pay for prescriptions may feel its free but it’s not free for the NHS.”

Derbyshire County NHS revealed £300,000 wasted on unused medicines could have paid for 85 hip replacements, 66 heart treatments, 645 cataract operations and 120 knee replacements. Together with pharmacy staff, it is urging patients to think before ticking prescription boxes, talk to pharmacists and consider medicine reviews.