Only order what you need

Approximately 1.6 million medicine items are wasted unnecessarily in Dorset each year. We need your help to reduce this.

Why is this important?

Stay Well

  • Unused medicines expire and might not work as intended, meaning your care might be compromised

  • Stockpiling medicines worsens drug shortages

Stay Safe

  • Stockpiles of medicines kept at home can be dangerous for children and pets

  • Medicines are only prescribed for you and for safety’s sake should not be shared with anyone else

Stay Green

  • When you dispose of medicines properly, by handing them in to your pharmacy, you are helping to make sure that waste medicines do not pollute our rivers and seas

  • Only ordering what you need means that you are helping the environment because once medicines have left the pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else

What we can do

The good news is there is a lot we can do to tackle medicines waste, and everyone can play a part.

Thank you for helping your community to reduce medicine waste.

Only order what you need

  • Check what medicines you have at home before you order your repeat prescriptions. If you have enough, only request the medicines you need this time. You will still be able to order others again in future

  • Speak to your pharmacy team if you have any questions about how to change your prescription request

The video above was created by the NHS in Fife and explains why reducing medicine waste is so important.

Take stock! Reducing medicines waste in Fife – NHS Fife

Open your prescription bag

Check your prescription bag before leaving the pharmacy to make sure that you only have what you need and that there’s nothing extra in there. If you return an item before you leave the pharmacy, the medicines can be reused.

Your medicines and hospitals

Always keep a list of your medicines, the doses, and how you take them in your wallet or purse, and if you know you’re going into hospital take all your medicines with you.

These actions mean that staff have a complete record of what you’re taking, that the hospital won’t need to dispense more of the same medication and can speed up your care.

When it’s time to go home take the right medicines with you. Before you leave ask if any changes have been made to your medicines and take home everything that’s still suitable.

Reduce waste with a conversation

Let your pharmacy team know if you’ve stopped taking any of your medicines or if they’re no longer right for you.

This is not a problem, and in fact, means your team will be able to improve your healthcare.

If you have any questions about anything on medicines waste email:

Unused or out of date medicines can be returned to your pharmacy for safe disposal.