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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06700: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 30 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many prescription items were uncollected after (a) one week, (b) two weeks, (c) three weeks and (d) four weeks or more in each year since 1999, broken down by NHS board; how much this has cost the NHS; what action it is taking to reduce this, and what guidance it issues on reusing uncollected items.

Answered by: Shona Robison 24 February 2017

Information on the number of prescription items uncollected within the time periods requested and the associated costs of those medicines is not readily available.

Each community pharmacy contractor will have a standard operating procedure for dispensing medicine which will include how to deal with uncollected items. However, it is common practice for any medicines not collected and which have not left the premises to be returned to stock for re-use, and no reimbursement payment is made for the medicine in this case. Prescription forms for uncollected medicines are then passed by community pharmacies to National Services Scotland Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services for processing, endorsed by the pharmacy as “item not collected”.

The reasons why a prescription item may be uncollected are multifaceted. However, a new medicine intervention support tool was introduced allowing community pharmacists to provide structured and tailored support to patients. This should increase adherence to new medicines, in turn reducing the number of uncollected items due to poor adherence.

The Scottish Government has not issued any specific guidance on the reuse of uncollected prescriptions. Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services and Community Pharmacy Scotland publish Endorsing Guidance which provides guidance on how to endorse prescriptions for any items not collected.