Medicines waste - Don't use it? Don't order it. 

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Medicines waste matters - you can help reduce it


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Only order what you need - when you order your repeat prescriptions, make sure you only order what you need. You will help reduce waste as medicines that you don’t use won’t be stockpiled at home.

Take medicines as advised - medicines are also wasted when you don’t take them as advised. Not completing a full course of medicines could have an impact on your health.

It's also worth knowing:

Medicines can't be recycled - you can return unused or unwanted medicines to your doctor or pharmacy. But, that same medication can't be given to another patient - the medicines can only be disposed of as waste. The best thing to do is make sure you only order the medicines you need. 

Medicines have an expiry date - if you stockpile medicines at home this could have an impact on your health as you run the risk of taking medicines that are out of date. 

How can I take more control of my medicines? 

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One of the easiest ways for you to make sure that you only get the medicines you need is to order your repeat prescriptions online or using an app. This service is known as SystmOnline. It shows you exactly what medicines are on your prescription so you only order what you need. 

It's quick and easy to order your repeat prescriptions online. It is available 24/7 and you don't have to make a journey to your GP practice. You can also request to be setup for patient online access on behalf of somebody you care for.  

To register for online services, you will need to take some photo ID and proof of address to your GP practice and ask to be set up for patient online services (SystmOnline).

You can find out more about patient online services here.

Further information 

Download the patient leaflet here

The drive to reduce medicines waste is part of the It's Your NHS, Don't Waste It campaign. You can read more about the campaign here.


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