Think! before you request a repeat prescription

To reduce the amount of medicine that is wasted, NHS Kernow wants to encourage patients to Think! about their medicines and to only order what they need when renewing their prescriptions and to check that they only have what they need when they pick up their prescription.

Wasted medicines cost money - whether you pay for them or not.

Only ordering what you need will save money for the NHS in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and reduce the risk of you or others taking unnecessary medicines.

You can help by:

  • When you collect your prescription, open the bag and check your medicines before you leave the pharmacy
  • Hand back any medicines that you don’t need at this time. You can always order more next time if you need then
  • Take your medicines if you can, tell us if you can’t
  • Unwanted medicines that are returned to the pharmacy must be destroyed, even if they haven’t been opened and can’t be reused
  • Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about your medicines. They would rather know if you are having problems with them

Remember – prescriptions ordered in haste, can cause waste.

Unfortunately legally we can’t reuse or recycle medicines once you have left the pharmacy - only order what you need.

There is no need to order medicines “just in case” – if you run out of medicines, you simply need to visit your GP or local pharmacy. Pharmacies receive deliveries of medicines every day.

Never dispose of your medicine in the bin, or down the toilet. Please return unused medicine to your dispensing GP or pharmacy.

Like food, medicines go out of date. Never take a medicine which is past it’s use by date.

Talk to your GP or pharmacist if:

  • You are not taking your medicines exactly as prescribed
  • You are unsure how to take them properly
  • You want to stop, or have already stopped taking a medicine on your prescription
  • You are concerned about the side effects
  • You are unsure why you are taking a medicine
  • You feel any of your medicines are not working
  • Ask your GP or pharmacist for a medicines review if you are unsure or if you need help taking your medicines