15 October 2013

Wasted Medicine Costing the NHS Millions

The RCGP Annual Conference moves onto the final day with Jan James, CEO of Medicine Waste Campaign, and Dr Manir Hussain, Head of Medicines Management, discussing patients stockpiling medicine and others return theirs unused. There is a session on obesity, Communication between prison and primary health care and Camila Batmanghelidjh discusses youth engagement

Ways to tackle a £300 million a year problem of unused and destroyed medicine will be explored at the RCGP Annual Primary Care conference in Harrogate today.

Jan James, CEO of the Medicine Waste Campaign, and Dr Manir Hussain, Head of Medicines Management, will discuss why some patients are stockpiling medicine while others are returning theirs unused.

A 2010 Department of Health report estimated £110 million worth of medicine is being returned to pharmacies, £50 million worth is disposed of by care homes and £90 million worth of unused prescriptions are being stored in domestic homes.

The session will look at how to run a good waste campaign and generate possible future savings of around £500 million in five key therapeutic areas: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease and schizophrenia, if medicines are taken as prescribed.

Obesity the final nemesis of the NHS

Obesity is an increasing problem for primary care and this session will look at the role GPs need to play in tackling and treating the issue.

Is it healthier to be skinny than fat? Can malnutrition and obesity go hand in hand? These questions will be answered in the second part of the session on malnutrition.

Also at the RCGP Annual Primary Care conference today…

Communication between prison and primary health care is a report compiled by a group of seven first year medical students who conducted their special study component on the communication between Saughton prison health centre, Edinburgh, and primary care.

What are the real life applications of the Research Paper of the Year? Bruce Guthrie, Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the University of Dundee, will speak on the findings which challenge the long-held single disease framework.

Founder of two children’s charities, The Place 2 Be and Kids Company, Camila Batmanghelidjh, will lead a plenary session on youth engagement and harnessing the power of the next generation.

Dame Jenni Murray, radio presenter, journalist and broadcaster, will look at changing approaches to healthcare – personal perspectives and how the modern patient doctor relationship needs to work.

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 44,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.