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Health bosses in bid to reduce medicine waste

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A campaign to stop £1m of medicines being wasted has launched across Central Manchester.

Local health chiefs have estimated that around £1 million is lost each year in Central Manchester through medicine waste – mainly when patients order unneeded repeat prescriptions.

The campaign, launched by NHS Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group calls upon patients to:

• Only order what they need
• Return their unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal
• Take their medicines with them when they go into hospital

The £1 million that could potentially be saved in Central Manchester through reducing wasted medicines could be spent on:

• 41 more nurses or
• 1,051 more drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s OR
• 69 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer OR
• 283 more hip replacements OR
• 128 more heart bypass operations

Dr Connie Chen, a Chorlton GP and Prescribing lead GP for Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re appealing to patients on repeat prescriptions to think about what they order and only ask for what they need.

“This will mean more money can be spent on treating illnesses such as cancer and heart disease instead of being wasted on unused and unwanted medicines.
“People may not realise that once medicines have been dispensed, they cannot be reused and they are then destroyed.

“We have also asked local community pharmacies in Central Manchester to contact all patients/carers before they dispense a repeat prescription so that they can check which items are needed each month. Hopefully this will reduce medicines being dispensed which are not needed at that time.”

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