Northern Ireland

Caution urged over NI prescriptions wastage

Prescription charges in Northern Ireland were abolished in April 2010.
Image caption Prescription charges in Northern Ireland were abolished in April 2010.

People in Northern Ireland are being urged to think about the cost of prescription waste as research suggests about £18m worth of prescribed medicines end up unused.

In 2012, more than 37m prescription items were dispensed, costing about £400m.

Once they are given out they cannot be re-used even if returned unopened.

The thousands of unwanted, unused or repeat prescriptions place a strain on health service budgets.

A campaign to encourage people to use prescriptions wisely and not over-order is planned for 2013/2014.

This will be the fourth consecutive year that a prescription waste campaign has run in Northern Ireland.

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