Did you know every year in mid Essex an estimated £2million of unused medicines are wasted?
This waste means that mid Essex patients do not benefit from the additional services or treatments that this money could have been better spent on. The £2 million we wasted on medicines each year could pay for:
- 566 new hips or,
- 139 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer or
- 61 more community nurses.
When patients receive medicines that are not intended for them or have been discontinued, there is also a safety risk in that the medicine may be inadvertently taken by somebody else or taken by the patient without realising it is no longer required. Therefore, reducing the wastage of medicines would benefit patients both from a safety perspective as well as a cost perspective.
That’s why we have launched a campaign called ‘Your Medicines, Your NHS’ to make local people aware of all the big costs involved in prescriptions.
In the first phase of the campaign we are encouraging patients to open their prescription bag in the pharmacy and see if they still need all items in the bag, and if not to hand back surplus items to the pharmacy staff before leaving the pharmacy. If you notice you have surplus medications after you have left the pharmacy, it cannot be returned for use by anyone else even if it hasn’t been opened. You will be able to order these items next time if you need them.
Paula Wilkinson, Chief Pharmacist for Mid Essex CCG said: “We are encouraging everyone to reduce medicines wastage. Things can change between putting in your request for repeat medicines and when you collect them. So, play your part - ‘Open the Bag’ and hand back any medicines that you do not need’.
Pledge your support
Help support the 'Your Medicines Your NHS' campaign by sharing on social media how you will pledge to take responsibilty of yours and your families or patients medications.
To pledge simply select one of the pledges below and then download the appropriate graphics and share across Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram using hashtags #YourMedicinesYourNHS and #OpenTheBag. Don't forget to also tag @MidEssexCCG.