Help us to show the red card to medicines waste by ringing our special phone line to report that you’ve got enough.
We hope that by dialling in to flag up that your pills and potions are piling up, you can help us cut the estimated £2 million a year it costs the NHS in Doncaster to pay for unwanted repeat prescriptions.
Here at the CCG we’ve launched a new publicity campaign featuring Doncaster Rovers’ defender Andy Butler – who is also a qualified referee – red carding two containers of unwanted medicines held by local pharmacists Paul Chatterton and Bal Purewal.
Dr Jeremy Bradley, a Hatfield based GP who has special responsibility for medicine prescribing at the CCG also appears on the campaign poster and promotional cards which will be promoted in local pharmacies, surgeries and other local places.
He said: “If your repeat prescriptions are piling up and you don’t know what to do to stop them, simply ring our MedLine on 01302 566074, leave your contact details and we will be in touch to help you.
“You can also let your pharmacist or GP know that you have more medication than you need. By doing so, you could save your NHS valuable money that can be spent on local health services.”
The campaign is backed by Doncaster’s Local Pharmacy Committee, which represents the area’s pharmacies. Secretary Nick Hunter said: “Pharmacists spend five years studying at university about medicines and are experts, so patients with queries about the medicines, such as how they work and how to get the most from them should talk to their pharmacist first.
“Medicines waste is a real burden on valuable NHS resources so we all need to work together to make sure they are used effectively and wisely so if you are unsure don’t just tick the box, ask your pharmacist”.
Prescription medicines currently cost the NHS in Doncaster around £60 million a year. We ran an anonymous online survey last year to gather some local insight into this important issue. Nearly 30 per cent of those who responded said they had prescription medicines they no longer needed or used.
In one case, a Doncaster patient was found to have stockpiled 20 boxes of an anticonvulsant drug that they hadn’t been using, which cost the NHS around £2,000 and had to be destroyed.
We’re also reminding you to dispose of any unwanted or unused medicines safely once they have been prescribed. Simply take them back to your pharmacist. Even though they may not have been opened, NHS rules mean they cannot be dispensed to anyone else, they have to be destroyed.