NHS Fife launches medicines campaign
Published 11 Sep 2012 11:30 2 Comments
NHS Fife colleagues, including chief executive John Wilson, were joined by MSPs Claire Baker and David Torrance, alongside representatives from the care home sector and the local pharmacist at Boots, Kirkcaldy, at the launch of the campaign with an eight-tonne skip filled with the equivalent amount of returned medicines to pharmacies in Fife every eight weeks.
NHS FIFE launched a new campaign yesterday (Monday) to cut the amount of wasted medicines.
The campaign aims to highlight the costs involved as a result of over-ordering of medicines, particularly on repeat prescriptions, or continuing to order medicines no longer needed.
Wasted medicines cost NHS Fife more than £2 million per year.
This is the equivalent of around 110 community nurses, 80 community midwives or 54 community dentists.
The quantity of medicines returned to Fife pharmacies is also equivalent to filling an eight-tonne skip every eight weeks.
Patients are reminded not to order medicines "just in case" - if you run out of medicines, they say you simply need to visit your GP or local pharmacy.
Pharmacies receive deliveries of medicines every day, so there should be no major delays accessing medicines if and when you need them, according to the health board.
Should you go into hospital, it's best to take all of your medicines with you.
NHS Fife say stockpiling medicines at home is a safety risk and that it is important to return any unused medicines to your local pharmacy.
All medicines returned to pharmacies must be disposed of, even if unopened or unused - they cannot be reused or recycled. If you no longer take a medicine, tell your GP or pharmacist.
Fiona Eastop, pharmacist at NHS Fife, said, "This campaign is urging everyone to think before they order repeat prescriptions and check before ordering any more, even if ordering for a relative or someone you care for.
"Also, if there are medicines which you do not like to take, or are unable to swallow, simply ask to speak to your pharmacist or GP at any time to discuss alternatives."
Remember if you have any questions or issues relating to medicines; speak to your local pharmacist or GP - they are happy to help.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines and can assist with questions concerning side effects, safety of medicines and suitable alternatives.
Pharmacies are one of the most accessible forms of healthcare, with more than 80 pharmacies across Fife, and many having longer opening hours and weekend opening.
Services are free and there is often no need to make an appointment. Confidentiality is assured so you can ask to speak to your local pharmacist in confidence.
The campaign includes advertising on buses, at train stations, stands at three Fife shopping centres, leaflets and posters displayed at libraries, leisure centres, all NHS Fife hospitals, GP practices and care homes.
Fife pharmacies are also distributing leaflets and flyers with window displays during the campaign.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 11 Sep 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 17, 00:42
my main contention is, I have returned drugs still in date only to be told they will be destroyed because they have been past over counter ,I ticked my repeat prescipton by mistake ,what a waste of money
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Sep 19, 16:54
I agree with midge1, whoever decided that returned medicines can't be re-used is the profligate wastrel! Surely these could safely be sent to people in the Third World who can't afford medicines.
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