NHS appeal to dent £1.2 million cost of unused medicines

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Health commissioners in Nottinghamshire are launching a campaign to cut down the cost of wasted and unused medication.

NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG and NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG are highlighting the issue using a series of roadshows and leaflets.

The two organisations responsible for planning and buying health services in parts of Nottinghamshire are working with GP surgeries, community pharmacists and care homes to drive home the message about the importance of avoiding wasted medication which costs the NHS an estimated £300 million each year.

This sum represents approximately £1 in every £25 spent on general practice and community care in England. In Newark and Sherwood and Mansfield and Ashfield the figure wasted amounts to around £1.2 million each year.

Health care leaders are urging people to only order what they need and are raising awareness that unused medication cannot be reused. The CCGs are also working with care home staff and community staff to help avoid the stockpiling of medication in residential and nursing homes - thought to be one of the sources of unused medication.

The campaign will include a series of roadshows at King’s Mill Hospital, and at Newark Hospital to highlight the cost of medication wasted by displaying the empty packaging from returned medicines to the public.

Dr Hilary Lovelock, GP and deputy clinical chair for NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG said: “ The cost of wasted medication is truly eye watering. Imagine what the money wasted could have been spent on. The reasons for the waste are varied.”