Every year in Dumfries & Galloway we use in excess of £30 million of public money to pay for medication prescribed by your GPs. We know that approximately 10% (£3,000,000 worth) of these medicines are wasted because they are not needed currently or no longer needed ever. Some of this cost is partially unavoidable but there are many ways in which with your help we can reduce the avoidable waste by working together. This considerable amount of money would go a long way to helping us preserve necessary services which are in danger of being cut due to lack of funds.
A public awareness campaign will be launched in 2017 which is hoped will help reduce the amount of unwanted drugs in people’s homes which then have to be destroyed. Once a medicine is removed from the Dispensary it cannot be recycled and must be destroyed due to national legislation. If patients or their representatives checked their medicines before leaving the dispensary, this would prevent waste. We need to ensure that only medicines that you require end up in your possession and not unwanted ones. We will be encouraging people to:
Think: Whether they need to order all the items on their repeat list
Tick: Only the items they need
Tell: the GP or Pharmacist if there are items they no longer need or only need occasionally
Wasted Medicines, Waste Money will be the campaign message. We will be asking people not to stockpile medicines. If patients do not need a medicine they should not order it or if unsure then the advice is to check with the GP or dispensary staff if they should be taking it. If you do not need a medicine the message is straightforward – don’t order it. If you need the medicine in the future you can order it when you need it!