It is estimated that wasted medicines cost the health trust about £3m each year. NHS Lothian has found that the savings made from wasted medicines could pay for 75 more nurses, 460 more hip replacements or 260 more heart bypass operations.
NHS Lothian communications manager Alexis Burnett said the campaign would involve liaising with the local press and setting up interviews with local pharmacists. It will also be encouraging doctors to get behind the campaign. Medicines are often wasted due to people ordering more than they need on their repeat prescriptions or continuing to order medicines they are no longer taking.
Unused medicines, even if unopened, cannot be used by another patient and can pose a safety risk, particularly to children, if kept at home.