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Prescriptions to display drug cost to reduce waste

2 July 2015

Prescriptions to display drug cost to reduce waste

New Government plans will see packets of prescription medication displaying the cost of the drug as well as the words “funded by the UK taxpayer” on all packs costing more than £20 in England, according to BBC News.

It is expected that this move to clearly display what a drug cost to the taxpayer will aid in efforts to reduce the £300m bill for “wasted” medication, which is prescribed but not used.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Everything we are proud of in the NHS is funded by taxpayers, and every penny we waste costs patients more through higher taxes or reduced services.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster said: “It is important for the public to be better informed about how money is spent in the NHS. We will be interested in seeing more detail about how the labelling policy will be implemented.”

Neal Patel, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “We know that around 30 to 50% of patients don't use their medicines as intended and there is around £150 million of avoidable medicines waste.

“Although knowledge of the cost of medicines may play a part its equally important we focus on factors such as peoples understanding of the side effects and benefits from medicines, which will also influence whether a condition is treated effectively or the medicine ends up in the bin.”

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