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Unused medicines refused by Boots

(34 Posts)
Auntieflo Fri 02-Oct-20 17:27:47

Today my husband took in a partially used pack of blood thinners to Boots. He has been put on different medication and no longer will need these.

Boots refused to take them saying, that they had been inundated with returned meds, and to try another pharmacy.

Has anyone else come across this?

MawB2 Fri 02-Oct-20 17:30:09

They should go back to the surgery to be destroyed.

suziewoozie Fri 02-Oct-20 17:35:13

AF yes but I’m surprised Boots said that. Pharmacies should not in any circs be accepting returned meds. They lose what you might call ‘the chain of custody’. Not only could they have been adulterated in some way big much more likely they could have been stored incorrectly - too hot, too cold, damp etc. It seems like a terrible waste I know but it would be much worse if people were given meds which were ineffective.

suziewoozie Fri 02-Oct-20 17:35:54

Big = but

suziewoozie Fri 02-Oct-20 17:43:30

AF apologies - I just realised that it was a half used pack so you were returning it for disposal not reuse. I think Chemists have to accept unwanted meds for safe disposal. The last thing that’s wanted is for people to flush them down the loo or leave them in a cupboard. I think Boots were wrong to refuse.

BlueSky Fri 02-Oct-20 17:44:46

But they accept them to dispose of them safely not to re-issue them, even if they were brand new and unopened! When we returned my late MIL’s medication, some of them being morphine, had to be handed in to the pharmacist in charge who took the patient’s name and address and they were put in a separate box for disposal.

Calendargirl Fri 02-Oct-20 17:50:31

I was under the impression that pharmacies should accept half used medicines for disposal. In fact, I saw a chap returning his late mother’s stuff recently.
This was a Co Op pharmacy.

suziewoozie Fri 02-Oct-20 17:53:02

Yes you’re right Calendar. Boots were wrong.

MamaCaz Fri 02-Oct-20 18:19:14

My guess is that it costs pharmacies a lot to 'dispose' of such things, and that Boots were taking a stand against something over which they have no control.

I worked with someone who unashamedly said that she kept getting more un-needed drugs just because they were on repeat prescription. I know that's not the case for all unused drugs (there can be many legitimate reasons, and I've returned some unused drugs myself simply because my condition suddenly changed), but I get the impression that it accounts for quite a lot!

suziewoozie Fri 02-Oct-20 18:27:27

Bouts make plenty of money out of the NHS - they were failing in their duty not to accept the drugs.

Luckygirl Fri 02-Oct-20 18:41:32

Our pharmacy is at the surgery and they do take them for disposal. I took a great bagful after my OH died. I felt really bad about it; but they kept changing his drugs and there were several years' worth of rejects there.

Auntieflo Fri 02-Oct-20 19:28:22

Thanks for your replies.
I have indeed returned unused, part packs of meds in the past. That is why we were surprised.

My prescriptions contain repeats, but if I don't need something that month, I just don't tick the box, so don't receive something that I am not going to use. Why would someone keep receiving meds that you are not going to use?

We will try another pharmacy next week.

ElaineI Fri 02-Oct-20 21:25:42

The issuing pharmacy is legally bound to accept them for disposal and only from the person issued or family member.

paddyanne Fri 02-Oct-20 23:12:59

Boots were really bad for just filling everything on my prescription even when I had said I only needed one item .It worked in my favour though as I never ran out of HRT when there was a shortage and in fact still have one month left from then.I have far more inhalers than I'll use though just as well they have long use by dates .I changed chemist and they said it was a common complaint about Boots ,one way to make money I suppose

MayBee70 Fri 02-Oct-20 23:18:20

Was the medicine dispensed by Boots?

Kamiso Fri 02-Oct-20 23:25:26

Our Boots have revolving pharmacists, rarely the same one for more than a few days. A few weeks ago they had a new pharmacy assistant and a new pharmacist. The queue went right round the block.

Calendargirl Sat 03-Oct-20 07:16:12

At the start of lockdown, when everyone was demanding extra and early prescriptions, the little Boots pharmacy next door to the GP surgery had horrendous queues, short staffed, reduced opening hours.
I went to collect our repeat prescriptions, arrived 8.40am, they were due to open 10am, was about 12th in queue. They finally opened the door at 10.40am, only two in at a time, I was dealt with at 11.20am. Lots of people didn’t get seen as they closed for lunch at 12 I think.
Some people took chairs to sit on while they waited. The socially distanced queue stretched out of the grounds onto the main road.
Fortunately a month later things had got back to a more normal way.

Auntieflo Sat 03-Oct-20 08:28:08

MayBee70, yes, the prescription was dispensed by Boots, that why DH took it back to them.

ninathenana Sat 03-Oct-20 08:41:13

My GP won't give me items on my repeat request if he deems it's not time. My list is eight items and I try to order everything at one time so I only have one trip to collect but I often have to reorder one maybe two items a week later because "they are not due"
I don't know how people manage to stock pile.

BlueBelle Sat 03-Oct-20 08:45:28

Boots annoyed me the other day I took a bag of specs which they used to collect for overseas use I went to the pharmacy as I ve done before and they said no we re not taking them take them to our opticians so I toddled off down the road to the opticians and they refused as well, as I had a lot more shopping to do I said very reasonably I thought oh that’s a shame but can you dispose of them for me as I m now starting my shopping and haven’t room for another bag and I got a firm, no we can’t, I thought she’d misunderstood and said oh I mean just pop them in your bin and got a rather curt, no we can’t, again so I walked off with them

Scribbles Sat 03-Oct-20 08:53:46

I took OH's part used meds and dressings to the Co-op pharmacy for disposal following his death and was told they couldn't accept them "because they might be infected with covid".

I pointed out that he died in an accident, not the bliddy virus and all the pharmacy staff are in hazmat clothing to sell you a packet of Setlers but it was still a No.

I was furious and tempted to just dump the bag in the nearest litter bin but refrained. The bag is still in the bottom of the wardrobe.😠

suziewoozie Sat 03-Oct-20 08:58:36

nina my GP surgery offers a really neat idea. It realised that being able to organise things so that all your meds could be ordered at the same time saved them time and the patient. So you can have a ‘synchronising ‘ prescription which gives you a one off prescription for the (approx) numbers of each med so that they finish together and then from then all all become due on the same date. I wonder if yours would do that? We can tick a box online when ordering repeat meds tbat says ‘synchronisation request’ I just ❤️ my GPs

Teacheranne Sat 03-Oct-20 10:37:27


My GP won't give me items on my repeat request if he deems it's not time. My list is eight items and I try to order everything at one time so I only have one trip to collect but I often have to reorder one maybe two items a week later because "they are not due"
I don't know how people manage to stock pile.

Exactly the same at my doctors, my repeat items all have the date when I can next order them online, I once had to beg to get my painrelief early as I was going on holiday for three weeks. No chance for me to stockpile!

But I had terrible trouble trying to get some repeat prescriptions cancelled for my mum. She no longer needed them but the pharmacy just kept on reordering them from the doctors and delivering them to mum. Even after telling the doctor to take the medication off her records, they kept on coming! Eventually they stopped and I thought it was sorted, then mum went into hospital and they,started giving her them again as they were still on her medical records. Again I explained that she was not taking the medication and it was dangerous to just restart them without careful monitoring only to find that when mum was discharged to a care home, they also sent her with some of the medication so the cycle started again? Luckily her new GP took the trouble to phone me for a review ( mum has Altzheimers so can't really speak for herself) and withdrew the prescription. I was quite upset though to be told that the medication could have contributed to her bad tempers moods while in hospital and at the care home as that is a side effect!

Nannan2 Sat 03-Oct-20 10:48:15

I think Boots may have been in the right, if these were issued from a different pharmacy other than a boots branch- especially during a pandemic- i think they should be returned to the chemist who issued the prescription? If not take them to local hospitals pharmacy who may safely dispose of them, if you explain they've been refused elsewhere?

Nannan2 Sat 03-Oct-20 10:53:51

It also seems a shame Bluebelle, that the opticians arent still collecting the glasses for the other countries, as these people will still need them? Surely they could handle them safely and cleanse them etc during the process?