Medicine wastage cost £2million in past five years

Scottish Liberal Democrats have revealed that medicine wastage has cost Scotland’s health service nearly £2million in the past five years – equivalent to 80 new registered nurses.

Nine out of 14 health boards responded to Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests which asked about the annual costs of removing and destroying prescription medicines that are returned unused to pharmacies in the area.



Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“Disposing of medicines which are returned unused to pharmacies has cost our NHS nearly £2million in the past five years. But that pot of money may be exponentially bigger once you take into consideration the unused medicines lying around people’s homes.

“Our figures do not show the cost of the medicines that are being wasted, or the costs around prescribing them in the first place.

“Due to SNP mismanagement Scotland’s NHS has been placed under unwarranted pressure with fewer beds and fewer staff.

“But we must all do our part to ensure that every penny is used effectively and that wastage is reduced where possible.

“These costs could also be brought down further through regular reviews of the medicines that a patient is on. There is also a role for community based pharmacies. At a cost equivalent to 80 registered nurses I hope that health boards, government minsters and patients will do what they can to bring costs down."

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