FINANCE: A campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary medicines waste has been launched across North Durham, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield.

The campaign, launched by NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, asks patients to:

  • Only order what they need
  • Return their unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal
  • Take their medicines with them when they go into hospital
  • Have regular reviews of their medicines
  • Discuss any medication issues with their GP or pharmacist

Dr Ian Davidson, GP Quality and Safety Lead from North Durham CCG said, “The Clinical Commissioning Groups in County Durham are very keen to get the best value we can from the money we spend on healthcare on behalf of the people of the county. One of the big problems is repeat prescriptions, which are ordered and collected by patients but then not used.

“Unwanted medicines in the home may mean that patients are not getting the benefit they could from their prescriptions. It also represents a large amount of waste. It is estimated that at any one time £90 million worth of unused prescription medicines are being retained in individuals’ homes across the UK. With a few simple considerations, patients could help save the NHS millions each year.”

Local health chiefs have estimated that £3.5million is lost each year in North Durham, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield through medicines waste alone.