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Medicines Waste Campaign

Medicines that are unused and thrown away cost the NHS in England £300 million of tax payers’ money every year. Locally, across Birmingham CrossCity CCG, that equates to up to £4.5 million every year.

In order to reduce waste and improve patient safety, we are asking patients to take these simple steps when ordering repeat medicines (prescriptions):

• Only order what you need - check which medicines you have at home before re-ordering.

• Some medicines may not need to be re-ordered every time if you don’t take/use them every day or you already have enough. Did you know that if you don’t order a medicine, it will still appear on your repeat prescription next time?

• Speak to your GP practice if your repeat prescription needs updating.

• Having regular discussions with your pharmacist and GP will mean you get the right help with taking your medicines. Speak to your pharmacist about a medicines use review, to discuss getting the most from your prescription medicines.

• Did you know medicines cannot be re-used once they have left the pharmacy? So check your prescription bag before you leave.

• Return any unwanted medicines to a Pharmacy for safe disposal. Never dispose of them by putting them in the bin or flushing them down the sink or toilet. Unused medicines kept at home are a safety risk to children and to others.

If everyone makes small changes, then together we can make a massive difference to reduce the waste of medicines in our NHS.


Check your medicines before you leave the pharmacy image1

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Don’t tick it, if you don’t need it

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Check what medicines you have at home before you order more

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Everyone has a part to play to reduce medicines waste


Medicines waste campaign - check your bag before you leave the pharmacy:

Medicines waste campaign - check your bag before you leave the pharmacy

Medicines waste campaign - talk to your GP and pharmacist for advice.

Medicines waste campaign - check at home first

Medicines waste campaign - check it before you tick it.

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