People who have prescription
medicine lying unused in their bathroom cabinets can return them in an
amnesty in Coventry next week.
Many GPs run a repeat
prescription service so regular patients don’t have to wait to see
their doctors for more medicine.
Repeat prescriptions make up
three-quarters of all prescriptions issued and take up ten per cent of
all spending in the NHS, but the drugs often get tucked away and are
A fifth of all prescriptions
are returned to pharmacies unopened.
A special amnesty has now been
launched to try and raise people’s awareness of the problem.
People are to be given the
chance to turn all unwanted medicines to safe-keeping.
Leaflets explaining the
campaign will be available from pharmacies in the city.
If successful, the campaign
could save the NHS a small fortune in unnecessarily prescribed drugs.
Current estimates are that £52 million a year is wasted nationally on
Chris Taggart of the Local
Medical Committee said:
“The campaign has many
benefits from reducing drug wastage and allowing crucial resources
to be redirected to other parts of the NHS, to improving drug safety
by reducing the amount of unwanted medicines stored at home, which
if accidentally swallowed can be harmful, especially to children.
“We want to ensure that
patients always get the medicines they need but we also want to
reduce local drug wastage so that we can redirect some more funds
into our local health service.
"It is crucial that
patients and carers do their bit to help the NHS to help them.
"The simple message is
'Don't Need It, Don't Order, Don't Be A Hoarder'.”