Help save the NHS £6m a year by using medicine more wisely

Unused medication cannot be reused
Unused medication cannot be reused

Patients in Rugby are being urged to play their part in saving the NHS millions of pounds.

Managers in the NHS estimates that £6 million of medicines go unused in the area each year - and the body responsible for health services in Rugby is encouraging people to fight the problem.

Dr Adrian Canale-Parola, chairman of Coventry and Rugby Commissioning Group, said: “With continued pressure on NHS budgets, we are urging people to help in areas where they can make a real difference.

“It is important that people take the medicines they need but if a patient feels they don’t need a medicine anymore they should speak to their doctor, practice nurse or community pharmacist to request a medicines review.”

Medicines that go unopened and unnecessary repeat prescriptions are major factors contributing to the problem in Rugby in the local area. These medicines cannot be reused and have to be destroyed – even if they are unopened and never used.

A special ‘task force’, made up of patients, GPs and pharmacists, has been formed by the CCG. The group has produced campaign materials which are being sent to surgeries over August and September.

Patients are being asked to think carefully before ordering prescription medicines by checking the medicines they have at home first. By only ticking items that are really needed on repeat prescriptions, NHS managers believe waste can be reduced significantly.

Les Yeates, chief officer of both Coventry and Warwickshire Local Pharmaceutical Committees, added: “Pharmacists play an important role in reducing medicines waste through their partnership with prescribers and patients. Pharmacists are available without an appointment to advise patients about their medicines.”