Prescriptions - Help us to reduce waste

Every year millions of pounds worth of medicines are collected but never used. In order to reduce waste the Swindon Primary Care Trust have recommended that all patients receive only 1 month of prescription at every repeat. You can help by:

1. Reviewing your presctiptions regularly - ask reception for a medication review appointment
2. Checking you understand the importance of taking your medicines regularly
3. Do not stock pile medicines or over order - please only ask for what you need.

What is a Wasted Medicine?
According to the national presciribing centre : any medicine that is not taken correctly, in order to achieve the intended therapeutic outcome, could be described as wasted. Usually this means medicine that isn’t taken at all, but it could also mean items that are taken infrequently or at irregular intervals, inhalers that are used incorrectly, or any other instance of medicines not being used as intended by the prescriber. Some people prefer the terms “unwanted” or “unused” medicines.

Is wasted medicine a big problem?
Studies have suggested that up to half of patients do not take their prescribed medicines to best effect. 700million prescription items are dispensed in primary care in England each year, at a cost of approximately £8billion. The estimated £100million per year in wasted medicines returned to pharmacies for safe disposal is generally seen as ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Also, the cost of the wasted medicines themselves is only part of the overall cost of the problem. Where medicines are not taken, patients don’t get the benefits - this results not only in wasted medicines but also in poor health outcomes, wasted time for health professionals, and unnecessary health, social and environmental costs.

AVOID WASTE: do your bit. Remember to order only what you need and have a medication review annually with us.

Prescriptions Overview