Medicines Waste

Help your local NHS tackle the problem of medicine waste

Medicine waste is a serious and growing problem within the NHS. Sometimes, patients or their carers continue to request more repeat medicines than they need and stockpile them at home.

This wastes millions of pounds and huge quantities of medicines. To get the best from your medicines, ask your GP, nurse or pharmacist for advice.

Wasted medicines waste money
Unused prescription medicines cost your local NHS in Hull and East Riding an estimated £2.8 million every year.

Unused medicines cannot be recycled
Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the pharmacy they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.

Please take your unused medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal.

Do not flush your medicine down the toilet.

Unused medicines are a safety risk
Unused medicines kept at home are a safety risk for children and others who might take them.

How can you help?
Only order what you need

  • Check what medicines you still have at home, think carefully before ordering your repeat prescription and only order the items you need.
  • If you don’t need the medicine – don’t order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
  • If you are given medicine you no longer need give it back to your pharmacist straight away, before you leave the chemist.
  • Let your GP, nurse or pharmacist know if you are having difficulty, or have stopped taking your medicines.
  • If the appearance of your medication changes please discuss this with your pharmacist, nurse or GP.
  • Please remember your medicines are prescribed for you – it is not safe to share them.
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