NHS South Central Estimates £20 Million Wasted Annually Due to Unused Medicines

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Wasted or unused medicine is a serious and growing problem within the NHS with an estimated £300 million wasted every year on unused or partially used medication.

Medicine Waste Campaign

Medicine Waste Campaign

Wasted medicine is estimated to cost NHS South Central £20 million every year.

After identifying consistent losses of around £20 million every year due to wasted medicines, NHS South Central launched a Medicine Waste campaign aimed to reduce these figures.

To put this figure into context, £20 million could otherwise pay for:
785 more nurses OR
20,000 more Alzheimers treatments OR
1,319 more treatment courses for breast cancer OR
5,393 more hip replacemenst OR
20,811 more cataract operations.

Launched in February, the South Central campaign took place across Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Berkshire West, Berkshire East, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. It included the use of flyers and posters, which were distributed to every GP surgery and pharmacy within the area, as well as bus advertising.

After the initial 12 weeks of the campaign a post-event analysis was conducted using patient evaluations. Out of a sample size of 4000 within the South Central area, there was a saturation of 44% who were aware of the Medicine Waste Campaign. 44% of all respondents also said that the campaign has encouraged them to only order what they need. This awareness rate is considered successful considering the size and scope of the campaign.

Additionally an on-street survey was also performed with a sample size of 510. Results showed that 51% of those aware of the campaign could recall the tagline “only order what you need”, 36% recalled seeing posters and 31% recalled seeing media relating to the campaign in newspapers or on TV.

“We were delighted with the support and enthusiasm this campaign received locally from professionals and patients, as well as the professional manner in which it was managed and delivered by Dynamic,” said Linda Tait, Programme Manager, NHS South of England.

Visit http://www.medicinewaste.com for more information on the campaign.

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Jan Deans
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