Medicines Waste

Did you know as much as £5.5 million is wasted each year in Devon on unused medicines?

The same amount could pay for 730 Heart bypass operations, 1,000 Hip replacements, 2,235 Knee replacements or 10,720 Cataract operations

How can you help your local NHS tackle the problem of medicines waste?

Check: Look at your supplies – order only the items that you need

Listen: Listen to the advice from your doctor, nurse or pharmacist and take all medicines as instructed on the label.

Tell: Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if your medicines are not agreeing with you or you have stopped taking them.

Tick: Using the counterfoil of the prescription, tick only the medicines you need, and remember “tick in haste – medicines waste.”

Open: Open your bag of medication while at the pharmacy. If you have item(s) not requested, or surplus to your needs for the next month, please return these before leaving.

A pile of wasted medication recovered from one patient

Photo taken from an article from the North Devon Journal.

Patients may stockpile medicines ‘just in case’ and may order medications even if they are not needed. It’s important that patients talk to their doctor or pharmacist if they are not sure whether they are taking their prescribed medicines properly.

Dr Darunee Whiting


Click here for resources for healthcare professionals

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