THE body responsible for commissioning healthcare in Croydon has launched its first official campaign - tackling medicine "waste". Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking patients to check whether they have enough medication before ordering more. It is estimated that as many as half do not take them as prescribed. Wasted medicines cost the NHS in London an estimated £39.4 million every year as well as putting people's health at risk. More than five per cent of emergency admissions are a direct result of misused medicines, and a further 17 per cent can be indirectly linked. Eileen Callaghan, chief pharmacist at Croydon CCG, said: "One of the biggest problems is with repeat prescriptions, which are ordered and collected by patients or carers but then not used "We ask our patients on repeat prescriptions to think about what they are ordering and only ask for what they need and are running out of. "Many people do not realise that once the medicines have left the pharmacy, they cannot be reused. "Any of the medicines on repeat prescriptions can be ordered and dispensed when needed at a later date. Medicines which are no longer needed should be returned to pharmacies so that they can be safely disposed of. "Keeping medicines in the home which are no longer needed could result in patients taking the wrong medication or the wrong dose." Posters will be displayed in pharmacies and GP practices to raise awareness of medicine waste among both patients and carers. GP-led clinical commissioning groups, who are responsible for 60 per cent of the NHS budget, replaced primary care trusts in April 1.
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