Local people have been urged not to waste prescription medicines as the cost associated with this is now £18m each year in the north.
Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum programme manager Aileen McGuinness and Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Councillor Patricia Logue, have backed a campaign aimed at highlighting the importance or ordering only what you need on prescription, and properly disposing of unused medications.
Colr. Logue said: “We are heading in the winter period when you’ll find that health budgets here are stretched to the limits with the annual pressures placed on them with an increase in illnesses.
“It is quite staggering that across the North that unused prescriptions medicines cost the health service an estimated £18 million per year.
“I would encourage people to check their repeat prescriptions. If there is an item they no longer need or use that they ask their GP surgery to take it off its list.”
Speaking on behalf of Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, Aileen McGuinness said: “This is a big issue that needs to be highlighted. We find day and daily the problems and dangers created with unused medication in our local communities.
“It’s vital to be constantly raising awareness of the issues leading to medicine waste among patients. We need to address that, and at the same time come up with initiatives for the safe disposal of old medication that may to at the back of a press. Every home will have a box or bag of medication that is no longer is being used or may be out of date that needs to be taken out of circulation.
“If you have any concerns regarding your medication, please speak with your local Pharmacist. They can advise you if you are on the correct medication or they will refer you back to your GP to discuss the best medication for your needs. If you have any unwanted or unused medication in your press you can take it to the Pharmacist where they can safely dispose of it.”