waste

Unbelievable waste as government-purchased medications routinely incinerated

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: expired medications, government waste, prescription meds

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) In the highly regulated government medical system in Great Britain, the waste, fraud and abuse continues to astound even those who are used to its rampant inefficiencies.

Urged in part by some British doctors, patients regularly return unused medications to local pharmacies, many thinking they are doing something positive as a way to make the draconian government healthcare system function a bit more efficiently.

What they don't know; however, is that those medications are never re-distributed. In fact, they all wind up in an incinerator.

About four times a year private companies contracted by the NHS - the National Health System - go around to these pharmacies and collect so-called "clinical waste" - which often includes unused medications but also other items like bandages, anti-fungal shampoo, painkillers, etc. so they can be tossed into a burn bin and destroyed.

In a number of pharmacies, the bulk of the medications are to treat high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes - serious illnesses that can be costly to treat. What's more, the majority of returned medications are in unopened packages. Ninety percent of them are within their expiration date.

One pharmacist interviewed by The Independent, Chandrakant Patel, estimated a recent gaggle of medication bound for the incinerator to be worth a few thousand dollars. The pile included unopened inhalers for asthmatics, and a couple boxes of Entacapone, which is used to treat Parkinson's disease.

The public doesn't know how much waste is involved

Over the course of a year, Patel's pharmacy will send about $20,000 worth of medication to the incinerator. And that's just one pharmacy.

Nationwide, England has close to 11,000 local pharmacies - many of which are larger than Patel's - making the value of returned (and destroyed) medications close to a staggering ?150 million (or about $232 million). And this, the paper said, comes at a time when the NHS has to come up with ?20bn (nearly $31 billion) in savings by 2015.

"It's shocking and the public needs to know about the cost of this wastage," Patel said. "It breaks our hearts seeing this waste day in day out, but we are not allowed to re-dispense these medicines, otherwise we are done for fraud."

Over the course of a year, the NHS spends tens of billions of dollars on medications - or roughly 10 percent of its annual budget, of which about $12.3 billion is spent on primary care. Over the past 10 years, the number of prescriptions has increased some 70 percent.

In 2000, the paper said, there were 552 million prescription items dispensed in England; by 2010 that figure rose to 927 million items.

It's not as if the incredible waste is a big secret. In fact, a government audit in 2007 found that drug waste was a huge cost for the NHS annually, saying there was plenty of room to improve efficiency in prescribing for primary care ailments.

A York Health Economics Consortium report in 2010 estimated that as much as half of the waste could be avoided, simply by being able to re-distribute medications that have already been paid for.

Not everyone agrees with that strategy. Some experts blame patients.

Jonathan Mason, a Department of Health adviser and former national clinical director for primary care and community pharmacy, said the key is to increase the number of patients who take their medications properly.

Is there more waste on the way?

"Studies repeatedly show that one third to one half of prescriptions are not taken as intended. And there are poor outcomes with poor compliance," he says.

That's a good point. Consider that people with serious ailments like high blood pressure or asthma who don't take medication properly are at risk of worsening their conditions - at significantly more cost to the nation.

"Five percent of all emergency admissions are because people do not take their medicines as prescribed, and this is estimated to cost the NHS [in England] ?500m ($773.6 million)," Mason said.

However, he thinks that's a gross underestimation.

In the meantime; however, the waste continues. Welcome to government-run health care, where - as long as tax money is being used to support it - there is no incentive to be efficient.

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.nytimes.com

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.