Major campaign to cut medicine waste

The local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups estimate that �2.8million is lost on medicine waste each year.
The local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups estimate that �2.8million is lost on medicine waste each year.

A new initiative aimed at reducing unnecessary medicine waste is underway across the East Riding area.

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Hull CCG estimate that around £2.8million is lost each year across the region through medicines waste alone.

The campaign, launched by both CCGs, is encouraging patients to order only what they need, return unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal, and not to stockpile any medicines.

As well as the financial costs, the CCGs said another reason to not stockpile medicine is for safety purposes.

They said that taking out of date medicine that has lost its effectiveness can cause complications, it is also a safety risk for children, friends and family who might take them.

Paula South, director of quality and governance/lead nurse at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG said: “We have already made changes to the way we prescribe medicine to reduce costs.

“We are starting to see the benefits from these and in 2016; East Riding CCG saved an incredible £1.6m. However, with the help of the public we still need to do more.

“Repeat prescriptions that are ordered and collected, but not used are one of our biggest problems. We are asking for patients on repeat prescriptions to think about what they are ordering and only ask for what they need.”