A public awareness campaign highlighted the estimated £2million cost to NHS Fife every year of medicines that are wasted.  The ultimate aim of the campaign is to highlight that we can all play our part in waste.  A video, presented by Lead Pharmacist Andrea Smith, explains that once you leave a pharmacy with medicine it cannot be reused. This is because there can be no guarantee it has been stored correctly, or that it has not become contaminated.


What can I do to help reduce medicines waste?

  • Check in your medicine bag to make sure your supply is correct and that there’s nothing in there you don’t need before you leave the pharmacy.

  • Only order what you need. Sometimes people on repeat prescriptions may find they have more medicine than they need. This is especially true in the run up to public holidays when people worry about running out of medicine if their local pharmacy is likely to be closed.

  • Return unused medicines to your pharmacy for safe disposal.


Sometimes people on repeat prescriptions can end up receiving supplies of medicines they no longer need.

Before long stocks can pile up in people’s homes which is an indication they are either not taking medicine they need, or are receiving unnecessary supplies. Either way it is unsafe and we are working to identify ways to stop this happening.

Help us reduce waste when ordering your medicines:

  • Check Before You Order– Check what medicines you have at home before reordering. Any unused or out-of-date medicines can be taken to your Community Pharmacy for safe disposal.

  • Only Order What You Need– Check before ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription forms and only choose the medicines you need. If you don’t need the medicine don’t order it. You will still be able to request it in the future.

  • Check Your Prescriptions Bag– Check in your prescription  bag to make sure your supply is correct and that there’s nothing in there you don’t need before leaving the pharmacy. Once medicines have left the pharmacy they cannot be reused.


Help us reduce waste by taking your medicines into hospital:

  • Bring Your Medicines into Hospital- If you need to go into hospital, remember to take all your medicines with you. Not only will this ensure staff have a complete record of what you’re taking but the hospital pharmacy won’t need to dispense more of the same medication if it’s not needed.

  • Remember to Take Your Medicines Home – When you’re leaving hospital take home all your medicines if they are still suitable.


Help us reduce waste by talking to an expert for the best advice:

  • Talk to the Pharmacy Team in your Local Pharmacy or GP Practice  – Stopped taking any of your medicines or medicines no longer suitable? Let the Pharmacy teams in your Local Pharmacy or GP Practice know.



  • Unused Medicines Are a Safety Risk– Medicines are only prescribed for you, don’t share them with anyone else. Don’t stockpile medication – it’s a safety risk for children and others. Need advice? Speak to the Pharmacy Team in your Local Pharmacy or GP Practice.

  • Unused Medicines Cannot be Recycled– Even if you never open them, once medicines have left the pharmacy they cannot be recycled or used by anyone else. Avoid any unwanted medicines by ordering only what you need. If you have unused medicines at home return them to your Local Pharmacy for safe disposal.


We'd love to hear from you

Contact Details

Cadham Pharmacy 

8 Cadham Centre



01592 743 639 option 4

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Premises registration number: 1042081

Superintendent Pharmacist: Bernadette Brown