Stop drugs being wasted to make savings, NHS told

Cutting drug waste and improving adherence will save more money than changing prescribing practice, a leading pharmacy group has argued.

Poor patient compliance with medication is a big cause of drug waste (Photograph: Getty)
Poor patient compliance with medication is a big cause of drug waste (Photograph: Getty)

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said 'big wins' in NHS savings could only be achieved by changing patient behaviour, rather than persuading GPs to alter clinical practice.

'The NHS should look through the other end of the telescope for the big wins,' said Nanette Kerr, director of pharmacy at the NPA.

'Real value for money can only be achieved if the NHS supports patients to get more benefit from their medicines,' she added.

Up to half of all medicines are not taken as the prescriber intended and adverse drug reactions and poor compliance account for a large proportion of emergency admissions, she said.

'The least cost-effective medicine is one that is used improperly or not used at all once supplied,' she said.

'Prescribed medicines now account for a considerable proportion of the NHS budget and there is no doubt that more value could be extracted from this investment by reducing medicines waste.'

Ms Kerr's comments come in response to a National Prescribing Centre (NPC) document pulling together evidence on key areas where changes to GP prescribing can save the NHS money.

The NPC report, Medicines management options for local implementation argues that reducing use of angiotensin-2 receptor blockers, branded statins and other drugs can save money and improve service quality.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...