Speak Up Against Wasted Medicine

Speak Up Against Wasted Medicine

A new campaign has been launched to help tackle the amount of wasted medicines. The initiative, known as ‘Speak Up!’ is now being rolled out by NHS Boards across the West of Scotland, supported by local pharmacy leads.

The aim is to increase staff awareness about the contribution they can make to the more effective use of medicines, encourage them to act on this and support their families and friends to take action too.

The campaign has several key messages linked to repeat prescriptions, the use of generic medicines (which are around 80% cheaper than branded options) and the cost of prescribing medicines like paracetamol which can be bought at low cost from local supermarkets.

NHS Scotland spends £1 billion a year on prescriptions, with £20 million of this going to waste. Staff are also being asked if they have any ideas which could help save money and reduce medicines waste.

The campaign was developed and tested in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde after they discovered that staff were unaware of various issues surrounding prescribed medicines. These include patients not wanting to upset GPs by challenging their prescription, people not willing to take advice from healthcare professionals such as nurses and pharmacists and concerns that not everyone can afford to buy over the counter drugs and that we shouldn’t be asking them to.

Spring 2018 Developments & Innovations