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Patients encouraged to return unused pills to local pharmacies as part of ‘Antibiotic Amnesty’ campaign

17 November 2021

A new ‘Antibiotic Amnesty’ campaign, running across all community pharmacies in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, is asking people to hand-in any old or unused antibiotics to local pharmacies for safe disposal.

As part of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), taking place between Thursday 18 and Wednesday 24 November, health experts at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging all patients to play their part.

Each year the campaign aims to remind us that antimicrobials need to be handled with care and to help raise awareness and education about the threat posed by antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance, where bacteria that cause infections become resistant to antibiotics, is one of the biggest health threats facing the world today. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous as they rely on access to antibiotics that work.

People should not always expect to be prescribed antibiotics. Many mild bacterial infections get better on their own and they do not work for viral infections such as colds and flu, most coughs and sore throats.

Elizabeth Walker, Deputy Director of Medicines Management at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “Taking any unused or old antibiotics to a local pharmacy is a very easy and simple thing to do which can make a big difference.

“It is important to remember that using antibiotics other than for the purpose and person they were prescribed for increases the risk of antibiotic resistance. If you are prescribed antibiotics take them as directed, finish the course, and do not share with others.

“Antibiotics should never be saved for later or shared with other people. Any unused medication needs to be disposed of safely at a pharmacy. Returning unused medicines also helps to protect the environment by avoiding contamination through sewers and landfill.

“We are reminding patients how they can dispose of these medicines safely to protect each other and the environment and we hope the campaign will have a good response from those within the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin area.”

Page last updated 17 November 2021