Lloydspharmacy Reveals Over 11 Million Britons Risking Health by Taking Old Medicines

By Lloydspharmacy, PRNE
Sunday, April 3, 2011

COVENTRY, England, April 4, 2011 - Lloydspharmacy, the community pharmacy chain, has revealed that one in
four* (24%) of the population in Great Britain - or 11 million** adults - has
taken or applied medicines which they later discovered were out of date.

Lloydspharmacy found that more than half (53%) of people do not always
check the expiry date of medicines before taking them or giving them to a
family member.

This is worrying considering that nearly one in six people (17%) never
clear out their medicine cabinets. It presents the risk of expired medicines
being used when they are no longer deemed safe. Many medicines become
ineffective when they pass their expiry date and could also cause harm if
they are taken by someone they were not intended for.

And they don't just pose a risk to the public's health. The annual cost
to the NHS in unused medicines in the UK is around GBP396million*** so it's
important that medicines are managed effectively.

Additionally, nearly half (49%) the population do not throw away their
out of date medicines correctly, either putting them in the bin, pouring them
down the toilet or sink or simply keeping them in their medicine cabinet when
they should be taken to a pharmacy or chemist (www.lloydspharmacy.com/
) to be disposed of safely.

Lloydspharmacy is running a 'medicines amnesty' in all of its 1,650
pharmacies where people can take in their old prescription or medicines to be
disposed of properly****. For those who are on repeat prescriptions
(www.lloydspharmacy.com/wps/portal/prescriptions), the pharmacist can
undertake a free Medicine Check Up***** to help manage medications and offer
advice on how to reduce wastage.

Melinda Setanoians, prescribing pharmacist at Lloydspharmacy, says:
"Taking out of date medicines is not advisable. At the very least, they might
not be as effective as usual. For example, you wouldn't want to take an old
cholesterol lowering medicine which may not be effective - and an old, less
reliable insulin pen used to treat diabetes could be dangerous as it may not
provide the dose that is intended. If you use an out of date ointment, spray
or cream there is a risk of high bacteria levels in the bottle or tube. Next
time you're popping to the shops, bring your old and unused medicines to your
local Lloydspharmacy so we can dispose of them safely."

Notes to editors:

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from ICM. Total sample size
was 2031 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th - 14th February 2011.
The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged
18+). Research does not include Northern Ireland.

**Exact figure 47,358,000. Taken as a percentage of the overall Great
population (60,003,100) from the Office of National Statistics

***Source: A report by the York Health Economics Consortium and the
School of Pharmacy at the University of London in 2010, which showed unused
prescription medicines cost the NHS in England at least GBP300 million with
at least 50 per cent avoidable.

****Lloydspharmacy cannot accept needles, syringes or other sharps,
chemicals, veterinary products, pesticides or other garden chemicals, paints,
solvents and oils, dialysis kits and anything else that is not a medicine

*****Applicable for patients who are taking more than one medication and
have at least three months of records with the pharmacy. Not available in
Scotland, NI and Channel Islands

About Lloydspharmacy:

Lloydspharmacy has over 1650 pharmacies across the UK. These are based
predominantly in community and health centre locations. The company employs
over 17,000 staff and dispenses over 151 million prescription items annually
and also offers an online doctor (https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/)
service and products to assist in the aid of many different ailments
including the tens machine (
which provides pain relief (
by delivering electrical pulses to
the body via electrodes on the skin.

(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste
this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)

    PR Contact:
    Claire Connolly
    Lloydspharmacy Press Office
    Sapphire Court
    Walsgrave Triangle
    CV2 2TX


PR Contact: Claire Connolly, Lloydspharmacy Press Office, Sapphire Court, Walsgrave Triangle, Coventry, CV2 2TX, +44(0)2476-432192

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