This site is intended for health professionals only

Campaign aims to reduce wasted medicines in Wales

15 September 2010

Share this article

A new campaign is attempting to save the NHS up to £50m by tackling wasted medicines in Wales.

Every year GPs and pharmacies receive over 250 tons of excess, redundant or out-of-date drugs.

In a bid to reduce the amount of waste, patients are being encouraged to order the correct amount of drugs in their prescription.

The move is part of an assembly government initiative backed by medics, which follows a pilot scheme in west Wales.

Health professionals will also be reminded to only prescribe the necessary amount of drugs to patients in a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell, and the NHS Chief Executive, Paul Williams.

Surplus medicines must be incinerated, they cannot be recycled or reused.

The assembly government campaign shows the case of a patient who returned £2,000 worth of wasted drugs.

But it added that there had not been an increase in the number of prescribed drugs following the scrapping of prescription charges in Wales in April 2007.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Assembly Government