Medicines returned from seventy local pharmacies in Cwm Taf through 2015-2016 could have filled three Double Decker buses, thanks to a Cwm Taf campaign encouraging the community to not stockpile their medicines.
Martin Davies, chief pharmacist for the Rhondda, in Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “Our Medicines campaign, ‘Your Medicines, Your Health’ has been running for more than two years, with the aim of; ‘take them if you can, or tell us if you can’t’ and to remind people to return their unwanted and unused prescription medicines to their local pharmacy in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“People are really starting to take notice of this campaign and we are urging the community not only to keep returning unwanted medicines, but also not to re-order if you don’t need them. It’s really important to take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If you have a problem taking them then tell your pharmacist or doctor why. They are there to help.
“Your safety matters and we need to ensure that medicines that are not being taken are not kept at home for ‘just in case’ reasons.
“There are many reasons not to keep medicines that you don’t use or are not wanted. Taking an out of date medicine could be harmful to you as their strength can change as they age; taking a medicine meant for someone else can be dangerous to you; taking a medicine prescribed for a similar but not necessarily the same symptom or illness could by masking a serious condition; stockpiling medicines could increase the risk of an accidental overdose by another member of the family, a child or a pet”.