A new watchdog group designed to drive efficiency and savings in the NHS has been announced by the Department of Health.
The Steering Group to Improve the Use of Medicines is aiming to make £20 billion worth of savings in the NHS by 2015.
The Group, which is made up of health experts and patient representatives, will also work to increase the quality of NHS services.
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This comes as the Department of Health is claiming at least £300 million is lost every year due to medical waste.
Additionally, a lack of patient adherence to prescriptions increases the cost of wastage to £500 million.
This is one problem area the Group will specifically target; identifying how patients can be supported in taking their prescribed medicines.
It is thought in turn this will help to improve their long-term health outcomes and subsequently ensure better value for the NHS.
Health Minister Lord Howe said in a statement: “We want to look at how patients can make the most of the medicines they take.
“This isn’t just about saving money, it’s about making sure that patients stay well and get the best outcomes from their medicines.”
He added: “Every pound wasted is a pound that could be spent on treating patients. By reducing medicine wastage the NHS will save money that can be spent in other areas of patient care.”