Prescriptions costing £117 million spent over one year in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Prescriptions costing £117 million spent over one year in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Picture:

Prescriptions costing £117 million spent over one year in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A cost of £117 million was spent on prescriptions in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in one year – with £5 million spent on medicines that could have been bought over the counter.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed how much they spent on prescriptions in 2018.

It included £5.3 million for drugs that were not needed and £4.7 million worth of unused medicines that were returned - and destroyed - last year.

The figures were announced as part of the CCGs community values panel; where 30 members of the public met to debate key health issues in the region.

The reports from the panel sessions will be considered by the CCG as it decides how to reduce its £75 million overspend.

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The first panel discussed whether people should still be able to get over the counter medications on prescription.

Over half of the panellists thought GPs should not prescribe medication that can be bought over the counter.

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They felt there was a need for "better education and information" to help people do this.

"They were shocked at the level of waste and felt other people would be if they knew," the report read.

"It was important to them that NHS money was spent with care."

The panellists also wanted a safety net in place for vulnerable people so they didn't go without medication if they couldn't afford to pay for it.

The second panel helped the CCG think about care in accident and emergency departments (A&E).

The panellists wanted those most in need in A&E to be seen first.

They also wanted better information for people about the options available so they could be seen by the best service for their needs.

Chair, Val Moore, said, "This approach is unique because we brought people together who matched the makeup of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

"They took time to look into the topic as a group and think about what matters most - the community values - on topics that the CCG is concerned about."

The panel was organised by our Healthwatch for the CCG, which plans and buys health services in the region.

The two community values panel reports will be looked at by the CCG at their governing body meeting next week in Cambridge.

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