Reducing medicines waste in the community


There is increasing concern at the amount and cost of prescribed medicines that are unused or wasted and then have to be disposed of. Previous studies have used health promotion and Dispose Unwanted Medicines Properly campaigns targeted at the patient to describe and quantify the annual cost of waste. The reasons patients return unused drugs to pharmacies have also been explored. The paper focuses on patient explanations for not needing medication; categorized as: over-collection in the past, self-management strategies, changes in medical condition, other changes in patient circumstances, or the repeat medicines policy at the surgery. The aim of the original study was to make a measurable change in prescribed medicines with a reduction in medicines wastage, whilst at the same time achieving improved standards of pharmaceutical care. Information on patient needs and behaviour came from consultation in the pharmacy monitoring forms and interview. The study was based on two medical practices in the West Midlands, UK, comparing an outer city and an inner city population. The participants were general practitioners, pharmacists and 350 repeat prescription patients. Prescriptions were issued for two three-month periods. The outcome was that 23.8% of the prescribed items were not dispensed, at a value of £13.1K, 58% of the medications that would be expected to be regularly supplied were collected. The study suggests that closer professional management at the point of dispensing and an understanding of patient experiences can help reduce the amount of unwanted medication collected by patients.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Pharmacy School
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © 2005 Arnold
Uncontrolled Keywords: community pharmacists,medicines waste,patients
Publication ISSN: 1477-1128
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 07:08
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 17:38
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://journals ... line&aid=528140 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2005-10-31
Authors: Jesson, Jill K.
Pocock, Rob
Wilson, Keith A.



Version: Published Version

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