Each year, unused and unneeded medicines cost the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds. This is money that the NHS can’t afford to waste given the amount of strain it is currently under. With better prescription practices, this money could go to employing 10,000 community nurses, 20,000 drug treatments for breast cancer, or 300,000 cataract operations.
There are also environmental impacts to prescription wastage. Studies have shown that several pharmaceutical chemicals have been found in our nation’s natural water sources. The average person usually does not know the proper way to dispose of medicines and instead throws them into household bins or down the toilet. This introduces medications into the ecosystem where they can cause serious problems.
For example, oral contraceptives that have entered the water supply have caused the feminisation of fish and other amphibians, while antipsychotic medications have changed their behaviour. In humans, it’s believed the alarming rate of antimicrobial resistant bacteria is partly due to medicines leeching into our water supply.
To ensure the safe future of our communities and environment, steps need to be taken to reduce medicine waste and to educate patients on how to correctly dispose of unwanted medicines.
NHS Repeat Prescription Limits
Medications are a daily part of many people’s lives in the UK, with millions taking repeat prescriptions on a regular basis. These medications are often vital for the patient’s quality of life, but the more often people take regular medication, the more likely they are to get prescriptions they don’t need.
In an effort to reduce medical waste, many local health services have put limits on how many refills can be issued for a repeat prescription. There is no national guideline so how many days your repeat medication prescription will contain can vary. The unofficial standard is a 28-day supply, but depending on your local authority’s policy you may receive more.
The thought behind refill limits is that the fewer pills patients have at any given time, the fewer pills can go to waste. Patients are also less likely to lose their medication or stockpile it, habits that contribute to medicine waste.
Another benefit to this model is that your GP will be reviewing your medications more often. This can help flag any potential issues and to ensure you’re only receiving medicines that are still providing therapeutic benefit.
Electronic Prescription Service
Having to prescribe medications more often does create additional work for GP’s and administrative staff, but with the advent of electronic prescriptions this burden has been reduced. With the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), patients can easily request their repeat medications 24/7 online through their preferred pharmacies or their GP surgery’s online portal.
Pharmacy to My Door is a technology focused pharmacy providing patients an easy and straightforward way to order their repeat prescription in Wellesbourne and Moreton in Marsh. We also provide our highly rated NHS repeat prescription service in Kineton and Chipping Norton.
Contact us to know more about our NHS Repeat Prescription and other services we provide.