Telford and Wrekin CCG gets set to wage war on wasted medicines

Health bosses in Telford and Wrekin are stepping up the war on waste medicine in an effort to tackle the estimated £1million worth of prescribed drugs that go unused in the area each year.

Doctors and NHS managers at Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging members of the public to help them tackle the mounting issue of wasted medicine, better manage their prescriptions and reduce unnecessary costs to the local health service.

Clinical Chair of the CCG, Stirchley-based GP, Dr Michael Innes, said: “People are always surprised when we tell them exactly how much money is wasted on unused medicines in the NHS each year. In a time where we are being driven more and more to make the very most of the money available to us, it is impossible not to look at that as money that could be better spent on improving health services for local people.

“In Telford and Wrekin that waste amounts to a massive £1million every year,” he said. “That’s money we need to put back into the local NHS.

"So, we are calling on everyone in the area to support us to do just that.

“To put that money into perspective, £1million would fund around 175 hip operations or pay for more than 3,500 patients to receive chemotherapy.”

Dr Innes said the CCG has launched a campaign using local radio, the press and their own website and social media channels to raise awareness and urge local people to better manage their medicines.

“We need people to think about only getting prescriptions for what they need, asking their GP or pharmacist to review any repeat prescriptions they might have and returning any unused or unwanted medication to your nearest pharmacy,” said Dr Innes.

The waste medicines project is the brainchild of a project group specifically tasked with reducing waste in Telford which includes representatives from Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, the Health Roundtable and a GP member of Telford and Wrekin CCG’s Governing Board.

Dr Innes added: "Medicines cost the NHS money whether a patient pays a prescription charge or not, so it's vital we all do our bit to help keep prescribing costs down by taking steps to reduce waste."