A pharmacist from Bushey is backing a campaign to reduce the £7million bill for medicines which are prescribed in Hertfordshire but never used.
GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed.
Patients are returning unused medicines to their pharmacy, but most don’t realise they cannot be re-used and must be destroyed – at a cost to the NHS. If a medicine is handed back to a pharmacist straight away, before the patient leaves the pharmacy, it can be recycled for another patient but once it has been taken outside the building it has to be destroyed. Medicines should never be thrown in the bin or flushed away.
Patients are being urged look in the bag before they leave the pharmacy and hand back anything they do not need.
Darshak Shah from Lister Chemist has been getting involved with the campaign and has spoken on social media about why he thinks it’s so important.
He said: “In the present climate that we have, it is money that is really wasted which could be better used for nursing, medical care, transplants or for the NHS where the budget isn’t presently available.”
Dr Rob Gerlis, joint clinical lead of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), the health and care partnership driving the campaign, said: “It’s really important that you or the person that you care for take the medicines that have been prescribed.
“If for some reason you are not, please tell a GP, pharmacist or nurse, because it could be having a serious impact on your health. If a medicine doesn’t agree with you, it might be possible to prescribe an alternative.”