What are Wasted Medicines?

Wasted medicines are unused medicines which have been prescribed for named patients and are not required. Medicine waste can occur due to patients over-ordering medicines on repeat prescriptions, or continuing to order medicines which they no longer take.

A report from the Department of Health estimates that unused medicine costs the NHS around £300 million every single year, with an estimated £110 million worth of medicine returned to pharmacies, £90 million worth of unused prescriptions being stored in homes and £50 million worth of medicines disposed of by Care Homes.

These startling figures don’t even take into account the cost to patients’ health if medicines are not being correctly taken. If the medicine is left unused, this could lead to worsening symptoms and extra treatments that could have been avoided.

What can I do? Remember, only order what you need, and ask your pharmacist or GP if you have any issues or questions about your medicines. 

Medication scattered along a surface.


Need Help Managing Your Medicine?

EPS or Electronic Prescription Service is a service which allows patients to request their prescription to be sent electronically to a pharmacy of their choice. This means that patients will no longer require a hard copy of a prescription when arriving to collect their medication. EPS is more efficient and convenient than the old-fashioned prescription paper. It also saves time as it means patients will no longer have to visit their GP to collect their prescription and then visit their pharmacy of choice. The electronic paperless prescription is sent directly from the GP surgery to your community pharmacy. It is cost-effective as it reduces the use of paper and it also ensures that the pharmacy can order any outstanding medications they need to have in their stock before it is collected.

Want to know more? Check out Imaan Healthcare’s latest blog – Everything you need to know about EPS and Pharmacy Nomination.

Wasted Medicine Means Wasted Millions!

This tub contains over 1000 unused pills accumulated this year by a patient at one of our pharmacies. They have been ordering the medication but not taking it, whilst the patients GP and the pharmacist were led to believe that the patient was taking their medication and needed it.

It’s important that you only order medication that you need, report to your GP and pharmacist that you are not taking some of your medication or not as compliant as you should be. Not taking medicines that are prescribed for you costs the NHS and taxpayers a lot of money, so please help to reduce unnecessary waste. Before the pharmacy safely disposes of these medicines we wanted to highlight the huge problem in the NHS and many pharmacies across the UK.

Jar of unused medicine

This jar contains the unused medicine that was returned from a patient at one of our community pharmacies. Can you guess how many capsules are in this jar and estimate the total cost?

Email us at [email protected] with your guess and be in with a chance to win a Healthy Hamper! Good luck!

Stay up to date with the latest news and information from GreenLife Pharma, visit our blog for more.

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