English NHS wastes £300m of drugs every year, study finds

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 26 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6799
  1. Oona Mashta

A1 London

Up to £300m (€354m; $473m) is wasted in NHS primary and community care prescription drugs in England annually, according to a new report. The health service, however, does not have a systemic problem with drug wastage, it maintains.

The wastage includes £90m worth of unused prescription drugs stored in people’s homes, £110m returned to community pharmacies over the course of a year, and up to £50m worth of NHS supplied drugs that are disposed of annually by care homes, the research showed.

The study by the York Health Economics Consortium and the School of Pharmacy …

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial