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Don't be a hoarder. Don't over-order.

​People are being urged to help the local NHS save £1.56million each year by not wasting medicines.

Across South Devon and Torbay, thousands of prescribed medicines are wasted or unused annually – which is a huge expenditure that could be invested in vital local healthcare services.

In an attempt to reverse this trend, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for the majority of healthcare in the area, has launched a new publicity campaign.

Dr Jo Roberts, the CCG’s medicines optimisation lead, said: “This is a massive amount of money being wasted, and many people don’t realise the problem.

“This money could, in effect, fund more than 260 hip replacements or 390 emergency hospital stays following a heart attack.

“Minimising the waste of medicines should be everyone’s business, and patients can play a crucial role by ensuring they only order what they need.”

The Don’t be a hoarder. Don’t over-order campaign will run in pharmacies and GP surgeries across South Devon and Torbay, with posters and leaflets urging patients to think carefully about managing their medicines better.

Dr Roberts added: “As well as asking the public to play their part, we’re working closely with pharmacists and GPs to get them to more rigorously check what people need before issuing or dispensing prescriptions.

“It is in all our best interests to play a part in being responsible about the medicines we need. The vast majority of medicines that people receive are essential, but we’ve all been guilty of stockpiling a bit.

“That’s why this campaign is urging people, Don’t be a hoarder. Don’t over-order.

“Medicines cost the NHS money whether a patient pays a prescription charge or not, so please help to keep prescribing costs down.”