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Surplus Medication Shocker

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,115
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Surplus Medication Shocker

I was amazed recently when I had to take bags of medication to the chemists, the only thing the nurses took away was the morphine driver. The rest of the meds which filled two shopping bags had to be took to the nearest chemist to be destroyed  Shocked All the boxes were unopened and still sealed.
Surely there must be some use for it, I'm guessing there was probably thousands of pound worth.
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

It's terribly wasteful but there's no way of being 100% certain that the contents have not been tampered with nor can the storage conditions be verified (they could have been sat on top of your cooker at 50°C or more) and some medicines degrade if the temperature is too high.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
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Midnight_Caller
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

@AverageWhiteBloke, Chemists do that all the time, once dispensed chemists will not reyus medication.
Sorry for spelling
Community Veteran
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Shocking, in these days of cuts and stream lining to the NHS surely something could be put in place where some meds can be re-used if they fit in a category rather than a blanket policy of scrap them all. I had picked many of the Meds up and because it involved two bank holidays had far more than was needed to be on the safe side. Some were not even out of the chemists paper bag yet.
Midnight_Caller
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Yes it is Shocking, but that is what the Chemists do, they just bin them.  Sad
Community Veteran
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Apparently the money doesn't just get wasted there, someone in the chemists has to pop every pill out of container and they all get dissolved in an acid bath. Which then needs disposed of properly, the cost of this chain is just a money pit. A typical approach of taking something really useful and turning into an expense, a lot of these meds weren't even 48 hrs dispensed.
I bet a lot of less fortunate countries would be grateful of them.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

many meds have an expire-by date because they lose potency.  the drugs themselves usually only cost pennies to produce.  often the packaging is more expensive.  having the local chemists deal with them is probably more cost effective than any other method.  most drugs are overpriced because the producers want to claw back the r&d they cost to develope and test, as well as research and test newer drugs.  
Community Veteran
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Quote from: artificer
....have an expire-by date because they lose potency....  

Don't we all? Cheesy
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Midnight_Caller
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Some of my lasses meds cost £20 pre tablet, but the hospital pharmacy does respenc them.
Sorry for spelling
Community Veteran
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Agreed it is a lot of money 'down the drain' but medicines (for the protection of thos that use them) are subject to very stringent controls from manufacture to dispensing, the entire supply chain has full traceability, the moment they leave this chain the traceability is lost and it is illegal to dispense them.
Even if, for example, a pharmacist made a mistake on your prescription and dispensed the wrong medication, if you noticed this immediately on leaving the shop and took them straight back they'd have to be destroyed.
Don't forget, there have been cases of people malliciously tampering with food products on supermarket shelves causing clearance of all potentially affected products, with medicines they have to be even more careful as someone's life or wellbeing may well depend on it.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

the real question is why did you get them in the first place, I get one medicine in a packet of 30 for 28 days, carry the two over then every so often dont get that one
Community Veteran
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Quote
the real question is why did you get them in the first place

without making you feel too awkward I was told to get them by the doctor for my mother who was undergoing palliative care for numerous illness. She was taking meds to counter the side effects of her regular meds as well as pain relief, food substitutes and aids for breathing. They were probably over subscribed due to two bank holidays falling within a two week period and aired on the side of caution in case something may have been needed when the chemist was shut.
Unfortunately we were prepped for a long wait bedside which didn't turn out to be the case hence I ended up with loads of meds which were not needed.
David_W
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Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

There really isn't a simple solution, once the pills are out of the chemists then there is no guarantee that the pills are safe so have to be destroyed.  If however the pills do not leave the chemists and you say "I don't need them any longer" they can be returned and reused (happened to me once)  We could say "yeah, make em use them again" but all it would take is one spiteful person to switch one med for a poison to leave someone dead so it's better to err on the side of caution really, even if it seems wasteful.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

Another case of a law having to be put in place that affects everybody and costs countless millions for that one stray nutter out there. A Nobel prize is out there for someone who can come up with an answer to this one. An anti tamper medication box with drugs that change colour if they have changed in any way.
Hey why not their trying to put a man on mars which is about as much use a the proverbial bulls udders  Wink It never cease to amaze me the brilliant minds that are on this planet, the technology available and the money to back it and it gets IMO wasted on trying to travel incomprehensible distances to things we already know are not worth going to.
David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Surplus Medication Shocker

It's not really costing anything at all, the pills are already in circulation with the expectancy that they will be used, if they are used or left in the back of a draw to rot away makes no difference at all.  If you have a large prescription though and you're not sure if you're going to use them all, you can ask the chemist to split the prescription and give you a receipt so when you need more (if you need more) you can nip on down to the chemists to pick up the rest of the prescription.