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Article

Public Attitudes towards Medicinal Waste and Medicines Reuse in a ‘Free Prescription’ Healthcare System

1
Pharmacy Department, Prince Charles Hospital, Medicines Management Directorate, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT, UK
2
Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF5 2YB, UK
3
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3NB, UK
4
Health and Social Services Group, Welsh Government, Cardiff CF10 3NQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jon Schommer
Pharmacy 2021, 9(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9020077
Received: 6 December 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicines Reuse)
This study investigates public attitudes towards medicinal waste and medicines reuse within a ‘free prescription’ healthcare system. A quantitative online survey was employed in a sample drawn from the population of Wales, where prescription medicines have been ‘free’ since 2007. Qualitative interviews informed the content of the attitude statements with categorical or ordinal response options assigned. The questionnaire was hosted on the HealthWise Wales platform for 1 year from October 2017. Of the 5584 respondents, 67.2% had at least one medicine on repeat prescription. Overall, 89.1% held strong concerns about medicinal waste. High acceptance for the reuse of prescription medicines which have been returned unused by patients to pharmacies was reported for tablets (78.7%) and capsules (75.1%) if the medicine is checked by a pharmacist first (92.4% rated essential). Concerns identified related to tampering of packs (69.2%) and the need for hygienic storage (65.4%). However, those working in healthcare had less concern about the safety of reusing medicines. The level of public acceptance for the reuse of medication was higher than previously reported. This is the largest survey to capture these views to date, which has implications for the future design of medicines reuse schemes. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicines reuse; medicinal waste; re-dispensing; re-issuing; redistribution; recycling; public views; public attitudes; medicines storage medicines reuse; medicinal waste; re-dispensing; re-issuing; redistribution; recycling; public views; public attitudes; medicines storage
MDPI and ACS Style

McRae, D.; Gould, A.; Price-Davies, R.; Tagoe, J.; Evans, A.; James, D.H. Public Attitudes towards Medicinal Waste and Medicines Reuse in a ‘Free Prescription’ Healthcare System. Pharmacy 2021, 9, 77. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9020077

AMA Style

McRae D, Gould A, Price-Davies R, Tagoe J, Evans A, James DH. Public Attitudes towards Medicinal Waste and Medicines Reuse in a ‘Free Prescription’ Healthcare System. Pharmacy. 2021; 9(2):77. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9020077

Chicago/Turabian Style

McRae, David, Abigail Gould, Rebecca Price-Davies, Jonathan Tagoe, Andrew Evans, and Delyth H. James. 2021. "Public Attitudes towards Medicinal Waste and Medicines Reuse in a ‘Free Prescription’ Healthcare System" Pharmacy 9, no. 2: 77. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9020077

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