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Tick, check and hand it back

Thousands of pounds worth of drugs could be saved to help others and the NHS in Suffolk – and local doctors and nurses are appealing for your help.

About £56million of prescription drugs and treatments are prescribed by family doctors and nurses in Ipswich and east Suffolk every year. An estimated 168,000 people receive regular medication using a repeat prescription – about half of the 390,000 population. 

An estimated 28,000 of those people are on five or more prescription medicines, which reflect the complexity of people’s care with rising numbers of people with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, chronic heart disease and breathing problems. Evidence from 2003 shows that between 30% to 50% of prescribed medicines are not taken as recommended because patients have problems with their medication and require more information about them. 

Unneeded medicines can clutter your home and cannot be used by anyone apart from the person they are prescribed for. 

Massive efforts are now underway spearheaded by Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to help patients get advice on repeat prescriptions through their surgeries and we need your support to achieve this. 

There are three actions clinicians would like those on repeat medications to take now to improve safety and the use of money on other important NHS functions.

When picking up repeat prescriptions:

1. Tick only the prescriptions you need
2. Open your bag of prescriptions at the counter, check that only the items you need are in there
3. Hand back any unwanted items to the dispenser

Dr David Egan, GP and lead for medicines management at Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “People have asked us for clear instructions on how they can help reduce costs for the NHS through our recent paracetamol campaign and the more recent “Do you take it” campaign. 

“We need your help – and these three clear actions will make a difference to NHS finances and improve safety.”

No drugs can be reused by others, nor can they be sent to other countries to support them. Drug safety law prohibits this and as soon as they leave the pharmacy doors they are unusable by any other person, so action must be taken in the pharmacy.


3 steps...

When picking up repeat prescriptions:

1. Tick only the prescriptions you need

2. Open your bag of prescriptions at the counter, check that only the items you need are in there

3. Hand back any unwanted items to the dispenser

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