An eight-week campaign has been launched to target individuals in an attempt to reduce the misuse of repeat prescriptions and to return any unwanted medicines to local pharmacies.
Dr Paul Danaher said the issues can only be solved by “patients and the health community working together”.
Posters and leaflets have been put on display in GP surgeries and in pharmacies to raise awareness of the campaign.
Individuals are urged to think before ordering repeat prescriptions; talk to healthcare professionals for advice on medicines; and bring unwanted medicines to pharmacists for safe disposal.
“Unused prescriptions cost the NHS in LLR an estimated £5.6 million each year and this is money that could be used to pay for other important health services locally,” said Dr Danaher.
“We want to encourage patients only to order repeat prescriptions if they are needed and not to stockpile medicines at home. We are also encouraging patients to have a medicines review with their GP or pharmacist to make sure they get the most out of the drugs which are prescribed for them.”
The PCT Cluster estimates that across the LLR region the misuse of medicines is the equivalent of 219 more nurses, 5,600 more treatment courses for Alzheimer’s disease, more than 1,500 hip replacements or 5,833 cataract operations.