Commenting on the newly announced NHS steering group to tackle medicines wastage, Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:
“In order to ensure patients benefit fully from their medicines and have improved access to innovative new medicines, any initiative which can reduce waste is welcome. In the face of budgetary constraints, it is particularly important that medicines are used effectively and wastage is reduced. The report acknowledges that on the whole the NHS deals well with this complex issue and that avoidable waste is relatively small compared to the total cost of medicine spending.
“Action needs to be appropriate and adherence is as equally important as wastage. This fundamental area requires deep understanding of patient’s needs, attitudes and beliefs to both their condition and the treatment prescribed. To achieve this will require new partnership models between the NHS and industry. The new steering group, set up by the Department of Health, will look into this issue but also identify how people can be better supported in taking their medicines as prescribed, thereby helping to improve their long-term health outcomes and ensuring better value for the NHS.”
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