Millions of pounds wasted on unused prescriptions, reveal Staffordshire pharmacists

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EXCLUSIVE
A Staffordshire pharmacist has revealed the full cost of unused NHS prescriptions, after he had to bin 42 unused inhalers worth more than £2,500.

Keiran Eason, owner of Eason Pharmacy in Tamworth, spoke out after one customer returned dozens of unused inhalers at a cost of £60 each.

And another pharmacist in Stoke-on-Trent has told Staffslive that they are wasting “hundreds of pounds a week” in unused prescriptions.

This comes after a report by the Department of Health found that £6 million of Staffordshire NHS cash is ‘thrown in the bin’

Mr Eason said: “This particular case isn’t a one-off, the pharmacy has to dispose of unused medicine on a regular basis.

“In one case, someone returned 42 unused inhalers at a cost of £60 each.

“There were boxes full, they were not used but had to be disposed of.

“This incident alone cost the NHS more than £2,500.

“People order things they don’t use because it doesn’t cost them anything.”

Statistics revealed that tablets thrown away in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire waste £3 million a year.

Mr Eason offered his advice to help reduce the waste that is burdening the NHS.

He added: “Just simply try not to order too much.

“Where possible, avoid using automatic ordering systems, and always check your cupboards for what you have and tick off your repeat prescriptions before getting more.”

Another pharmacist in Stoke-on-Trent has revealed that they waste ‘hundreds of pounds a week’ in medicine which is returned by patients.

The pharmacy manager, who declined to be named, said: “We have a lot of medicine thrown away which is a big problem.

“It tends to be hundreds of pounds a week.

“People return the medicine which can’t be reused.

“We then have to dispose of it which is, of course, a waste of NHS money.

“People order much more than they actually need.

“They order the same things each month and don’t tend to check what they have left over.

“You should always check what you have left before coming in to get more.

“Try to be careful of how much you order, that can be a big help with reducing the waste.”

The report, published by the Department of Health, estimated that £110 million of tablets are returned unused to pharmacies each year.

(Picture courtesy of Google Maps)

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