Revealed - the cost of wasted medicines

PUBLISHED: 08:55 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 26 October 2009

Wasted medicines cost millions each year

Wasted medicines cost millions each year

DID you know that the cash spent on wasted medicines in Hertfordshire alone could pay for nearly 1,000 more heart bypass operations? Or even pay the wages of 210 extra community nurses? Wasted medicines cost the NHS millions every year - prompting the lau

DID you know that the cash spent on wasted medicines in Hertfordshire alone could pay for nearly 1,000 more heart bypass operations?

Or even pay the wages of 210 extra community nurses?

Wasted medicines cost the NHS millions every year - prompting the launch of a new campaign in the county to help patients understand what they can do to help reduce the problem.

The campaign, supported by doctors and community pharmacists, encourages people to:

* only order medicines that they need.

* request information about their medicines from pharmacists or doctors.

* not to stockpile medicines at home.

Heather Gray, head of pharmacy and medicines management from Herts PCTs, said: "The message we want to get to people is clear and simple - don't stop taking those medicines that your doctor recommends, but it is equally important that you only order what you need for the coming month.

"Wasted medicines means wasted money - around £7m a year in Hertfordshire.

"Once dispensed, medicines can't be used again and it's a shame to see money wasted which could fund other NHS services locally."

She urged people who did have any wasted pills and potions to get rid of them correctly.

"If anyone has any unused medicines at home we're encouraging them to take them back to their local pharmacy for safe disposal and have a chat with the pharmacist or their GP about their medication and how to use them more effectively.

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