MORE than £2m of NHS funds are being thrown away in Wirral because of wasted prescriptions, it was revealed today.
NHS Wirral is now launching a campaign calling on the public to help the health service cut back on the amount of medicines prescribed to patients but never or rarely used.
Once medicines have been dispensed they cannot be recycled and have to be thrown away – whether they’ve been used or not.
Wirral’s Primary Care Trust, which is responsible for funding patient care, estimates £2.3million pounds every year is wasted on prescriptions in Wirral which are never or rarely taken by the patient.
This week, NHS Wirral is encouraging patients to work with them to tackle the problem by only ordering what they need.
Dr Bruce Taylor, GP Prescribing Lead for NHS Wirral said "Many people don't realise that medicines cannot be reused or recycled once dispensed.
“We are therefore asking local people to avoid ordering medicines they no longer need. There are lots of reasons why patients decide not to take their medicines, including no longer needing the drugs.
“If anyone has any unused medicines at home we’re encouraging them to take them back to the pharmacy for safe disposal and if you do intend to stop taking any medicine you’re prescribed, please discuss this first with your community pharmacist or family doctor”.
Posters and leaflets will be displayed in GP Surgeries, Pharmacies and other healthcare premises throughout Wirral highlighting the campaign.
This latest push for fewer wasted medicines is part of a wider strategy throughout the North West region.