Bristol: £3.5m Spent On Unused Medicine Every Year

26 March 2015, 06:00

The latest figures show £3.5 million is spent on unused medication every year in Bristol alone. 10 tonnes of medicines waste is processed in Bristol every day, which is then incinerated and sent to landfill.

NHS organisations in Bristol are asking members of the public to help with the following 5 ways:

  • Take your medicines exactly as your doctor advises
  • Only order what you need
  • If you’re going to hospital, take your medicines with you
  • Return unused medicines to your pharmacy
  • Don’t flush medicines down the toilet

It's also being revealed more than 6 out of every 10 inhalers are thrown in people's bins at home - the vast majority end up in landfill.

Now the NHS are urging us to recycle inhalers by taking empty or unwanted ones to any of the 43 pharmacies that have signed up to a new scheme in Bristol already.

To find your local participating pharmacy click HERE

Dr Martin Jones, Chair of NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Medicines waste can quite literally mean money down the drain and is enormously costly in both financial and environmental terms. We are working hard to ensure that NHS systems are reviewed and updated to minimise waste wherever possible and are asking the public to help us.

"Making sure you only order what you need, or taking medication you already have with you to hospital can make a real difference to cutting waste. Safety is paramount, so when you no longer need medicines please return them to your pharmacist so they can be safely disposed of. Never flush them down the toilet or throw them in the bin.”