Have you or a family member stopped taking a medicine which is still being prescribed?
Once you collect your medicines from the pharmacy, they can’t be recycled or re-used – even if the packaging is intact or in a sealed container.
Every year in NHSScotland, £20 million is spent on medicines waste. The biggest problem comes from repeat prescriptions that people no longer need or use.
There are a number of ways to help reduce wasted medicines
Only order the medicines that you need
- Please let your GP or pharmacist know if you’ve stopped taking any of your medicines
- Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering
- Ask your pharmacist, GP surgery or practice nurse for a medication review
- Think carefully before ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription forms and only tick those you need
- If you don’t need the medicine please don’t order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it
- If you need to go into hospital, please remember to take all your medicines with you in a clearly marked bag
Remember that unused medicines cannot be recycled
- Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else.
- Please bring your unused medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal
- NEVER dispose of your unused or unwanted medicines down the toilet
Unused medicines are a safety risk
- Return out of date medicines to your pharmacy or dispensary for safe disposal
- If your medicines change - return your old medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal to avoid mixing them up with your new medicines
- Don't stockpile medication - it is a safety risk for children and others who might take them
- Store medicines in an appropriate place out of reach of children