Wasted medicines cost local NHS tens of thousands of pounds a month

Published on Dec 8, 2016

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging patients to only order the prescribed medication they need, as a new picture emerges of the scale of waste in our area.

Medication that’s returned to a pharmacy has to be destroyed. It cannot be given to another patient, even if that medication is unopened.

A snapshot taken at JG Squire Ltd in Falsgrave Road, a typical Scarborough pharmacy, puts the issue of medicine waste into sharp focus, with the cost of returned medication in just a single week adding up to an estimated £400. As well as the cost of the drugs themselves, there are other costs to the NHS, including GP Practice prescribing time, the pharmacist’s time in the dispensing process and the costs associated with disposal.

There are 26 pharmacies in the Scarborough and Ryedale area covered by the CCG, meaning wasted medicines could be sapping hundreds of thousands of pounds every year from the local NHS budget – money that could be spent on other local health services.

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