GPs at the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group are highlighting the issue of unused prescription medicines, as they urge patients to only order the medicines they need.
The group has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of wasted medicines from a safety and a cost point of view, and the importance of using medicines responsibly.
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Wasted medicines are a serious problem and cost the NHS millions of pounds every year. There is also a human cost to this waste, as the money could have been spent on potentially life-saving treatments or enabled extra healthcare staff to be employed.
“One of the reasons for wasted medicines is when people who use repeat prescriptions choose to stockpile their medications. Additionally, people often continue to order medication they are no longer taking and no longer need.
“We want people to think carefully before ticking all the boxes on their repeat prescription form. If a carer or pharmacist orders your medicine for you, make sure they know what it is you need.
“If you are still ordering repeat prescription medication and aren’t using it yourself, please speak to your GP or pharmacist. They won’t be annoyed or angry, in fact they’ll be pleased to help you resolve the issue. They’ll help ensure that you have the right medicine for your needs, which will in turn reduce the amount of wasted NHS medicines.”