Staggering cost of unused prescriptions in Blackpool revealed

Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and clinical lead with NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group
Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and clinical lead with NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group
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Wasted medication is costing the town’s NHS around £1.3 million a year, health bosses claimed.

Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said an estimated four per cent of prescribed medication is never taken.

The group, which foots the bill, has now called on patients to consider whether they really need their prescribed drugs, and whether charging them to the NHS is really the best thing to do.

For example, supermarkets often charge less than 50p for a packet of paracetemol, but it costs the NHS £10.31 after administration fees, the CCG said.

Blackpool GP and the CCG’s chief clinical officer, Dr Amanda Doyle, said: “Wasted medication costs the NHS a huge amount of money every year and we can’t just let this continue at a time when the pressures on the NHS are greater than ever.

“If medication that is no longer needed is delivered through a repeat ordering service, not only is this huge waste but it could have detrimental, even life threatening consequences, if you continue to take it.

“You should also consider what medication you really need when ordering a prescription. If you can purchase the required medication, such as paracetamol over the counter, you should.”

Nationally, a governemnt report suggested the cost of such wastage amounts to £300 million per year.