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to not be at all surprised the NHS is in the state it's in when we have pharmacists doing this...

(58 Posts)
Jux Thu 09-Nov-17 16:13:10

I have a load of medication on repeat which is managed by my local Chemist's shop. When I picked up my latest repeat, there was one missing, so it was flagged up via the pharmacy/surgery jungle drums and the pharmacist gave me a few to keep me going until the surgery faxed over the signed prescription. Which was delayed because the new gp wanted a further blood test in order to check the dose, so a couple of weeks later I had the blood test done and the missing tablets appeared at the chemist.

I picked them up and saw that I had been given a whole month's worth so while still in the chemist, I tried to give them back so they could take the extra ones out or so they could give me odds and sods to take me through to the next full repeat (only a week or so away).

No way would they take them. Far too much trouble apparently, not worth it. I should take as many as I need until the next month's prescription comes through and bring back what isn't used.

Now I know, and I'm sure most know, that once you've left the chemist clutching those pills, there's not a damn thing they can do with them if you bring them back, except destroy them; presumably safely disposing of them costs money too.

So that's the cost of the unneeded drugs I have in my house now, and the cost of disposing of them safely when I take them back; and I bet that's repeated throughout the country.

Why? They could have taken half the pills out there and then and they'd have been safe to use for the next prescription. What am I missing?

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 09-Nov-17 16:15:35

Or of course you could ring your GP and get the next script changed

AnnabellaH Thu 09-Nov-17 16:16:05

Ask your GP to reduce the amount just for the next prescription because they gave you too much. Problem solved really.

Spam88 Thu 09-Nov-17 16:22:17

Or get your next script for that item later. Or just finish those ones before you start your next ones, and you’ll always have a few spares. I wouldn’t take them back to be destroyed, that’s pointless.

Sirzy Thu 09-Nov-17 16:24:43

So the pharmacist was kind enough to do you an emergency supply of your medication to help and your still not happy? hmm

missyB1 Thu 09-Nov-17 16:31:53

YABU totally bloody unreasonable to suggest this is the cause of the issues in the NHS!!

PaintingByNumbers Thu 09-Nov-17 16:33:59

Are you on glue, as we love to say? Of course thats not the cause of the shitty state of the nhs. If only ...

confusedlittleone Thu 09-Nov-17 16:41:36

They can get in a lot of shit of not giving you exactly what was prescribed. Also once they've got it ready to hand over then there isn't anything they can do other then destroy them

listsandbudgets Thu 09-Nov-17 16:45:08

Keep them, its always useful to have spares if you are on long term medication.

My consultant upped my dose a few months ago and gave me a 2 week supply to cover the shortfall on my normal dose . Unfortunately he forgot to let my GP know so my next prescription was for the original amount - it caused all sorts of confusion and extra bureaucracy . If I'd had a few in reserve it would have probably SAVED the NHS money .

Mistakes happen - now you're prepared

Itsanicehotel Thu 09-Nov-17 16:46:45

As long as you haven’t taken the drugs out of our chemists they’ll take them back. Last month I forgot to say which I needed and which I didn’t next time round, so I opened the bag while I was still at the counter and gave the unneeded drugs back to the pharmacist. Are they not supposed to do that then?

ProperLavs Thu 09-Nov-17 16:48:54

bloody hell. You are looked after, given the medication you need to keep you alive and healthy and you are moaning? Get a bloody grip.

cjt110 Thu 09-Nov-17 16:50:13

I had some tablets prescribed that werent given to me and a few months later they were still in the box at Asda. The pharmacist told me that providing I didnt take them away and therefore they didnt dispense them, they could re-use them.

Bobbins43 Thu 09-Nov-17 16:52:56

Keep them as an emergency supply?

starfishmummy Thu 09-Nov-17 16:53:52

I dont think this was as simple as handing a whole packet back though. They'd have to get someone to remove the extra and then probably someone else to check. Much easier to just keep them as spares or adjust when you get the next prescription.

I have to admit to preferring to manage our prescriptions myself control freak

Butteredparsn1ps Thu 09-Nov-17 16:56:37

I was told once that 10% of the NHS budget is spent on medicines, and 10% of that is wasted. It’s eye watering.

So your pharmacy is correct OP not to take your medicines back from you. Once items have left the pharmacy, there is no guarantee that the drugs have been correctly stored, or even that they are the same medicines. Returned medicines have to be destroyed.

Far less expensive for you to use the medicines and delay your next order. That would save money.

fullofhope03 Thu 09-Nov-17 17:03:48


SusieOwl4 Thu 09-Nov-17 17:05:28

There are much worse things going on . One drug that is being withdrawn because it costs £850 per month , but can be purchased in Europe for € 9.50 .

Also a CEO of a NHS trust being paid £240000 per year with a huge pension. Who then awarded a 5 million pound contract to a friend .

Btw trusts were not introduced by the current government and there is something very wrong with having gained money from the government to provide services they do not appear to be answerable for what they do.

But I agree in one way , the OP may have been subject to a small amount of waste but if that is repeated over thousands of patients it all adds up .

londonrach Thu 09-Nov-17 17:07:11

You dont sound a nice person. The pharmacist helps you and you respond like this!

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 09-Nov-17 17:08:26

Can't you use them and delay the next order OP ? Better than than not having any

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 09-Nov-17 17:12:34

To be fair that clearly would not make the nhs fall into crisis point ... however they ARE recycled. I worked in a hospital pharmacy and we had the odds and sods collected and sorted them out. We had massive piles to recycle daily.

JetCityWoman Thu 09-Nov-17 17:40:51

This is why I specify to my GP how many I need. I needed tablets for my DC to cover a trip 7 days worth with prescription label on. Explained this.

However pharma explained that half packs of those specific pills were rarely used thus a waste to split the batch unlike EG antibiotics where they are used in 7 or 10 days courses and split packs are oft used up quickly.

so we kept them and used them we just have 3 weeks of spares in the cupboard which will cover us for any shortfalls e.g. bank holidays.

Roomster101 Thu 09-Nov-17 18:32:20

I don't really get your logic. How would your giving tablets back save the NHS money?? Chemist shops are private businesses so if they had taken some tablets back it would have saved the business some money rather than the NHS.

RosaTheOwl Thu 09-Nov-17 19:04:06

Jux "it was flagged up via the pharmacy/surgery jungle drums"

my GP and my pharmacy will love this phrase, may I borrow it please? grin

Jux Thu 09-Nov-17 19:49:37

Well, I did open the bag in the chemist and did not leave the shop as I know there is nothing which can be done once I've left the premises. I open the bag and took the full boxes out of the bag in front of all the staff and asked if I could return some. I was aware that there is a massive amount of waste vis a vis medications not being used, which was why I did it, and why I always check my prescription at the counter.

I get about 15 different drugs on repeat. Yes I'm very grateful we still have an NHS otherwise I'd be dead.

No, I don't like wasting the vast amount of money I alone must cost to keep alive, out of pain and vaguely functioning, and I know there are many many people in the UK in the same sort of state I am, and that number will only increase.

Rather than cut back on the medication I get, I would rather there was less waste of it involved.

I have handed back part of boxes of medication before, but they had the whole thing down pat for a few years now with no problems and their computer knows better than I do when I need medication renewing and gets it all done with the minimum of fuss.

I can't not collect my next prescription, it has other medications on it which I will need. I shall ring the surgery and ask them to reduce the amount on that one drug for next time, but the surgery aren't quite as on the ball as the Chemist and I will probably end up getting a reduced number for a few months.

I was annoyed because the pharmacist is not one I've seen there before; the ones who usually work there have been more sensible in the past. Perhaps it was just a bit busy - no other cutomers there but could have had a lot of prescriptions to fill. Or maybe there've been new guidelines? Or maybe our nice little Chemist has plummetted down in service terms since Boots took it over recently.

Anyway, waste of money was the main point of this, and only one person has addressed that, so I assume no one's interested and will bugger off!

Roomster101 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:54:56

Jux Did you read my post? The chemist shop is a private business so they were the ones who will be out of pocket for this, not the NHS. The pharmacy has given you six weeks supply of medication but the NHS will only reimburse them for 30 days. I can't see why you are complaining as they have done you a favour and are out of pocket as a result.

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