HEALTH bosses in Gibraltar have kicked off a campaign to collect unused medicines from former patients to help save cash and prevent poisoning.

The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) is asking residents to drop off their leftover pills and other prescriptions at special green bins at pharmacies or health centres in the British territory.

It comes after the GHA said it was spending ‘anywhere between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds a year’ on unused medicines, it said in a statement.

The new campaign is part of the post-COVID-19 Reset, Restart, Recover strategy.

“Unused or out-of-date medicines can build up in the home for a variety of reasons,” Chief Pharmacist Ed Freestone, said.

“Storing these long-term is not safe and can pose a number of risks including accidental poisonings, inappropriate sharing of medicines and environmental damage if they are not disposed of correctly.”

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The campaign will result in a study to see how health bosses can save money from medicine spending

He urged people to go through their leftover medicines and take part in the campaign.

“Collecting such medicines via this campaign will provide quantitative data which will allow the GHA to estimate the cost to the taxpayer of unused, wasted medicines,” Freestone said.

“This is money that can be put to far better use elsewhere in the GHA, for equipment and treatments that meet the needs of patients.”

GHA Director General Prof Patrick Geoghegan said he was looking forward to ‘knowing the total monetary value of the medications’ that were being collected.

“It is important the public recognise that every penny the GHA wastes in relation to medication is money we don’t have to provide essential services,” Geoghegan added.

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