Pharmacies: Funding — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:06 pm on 2nd March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 3:06 pm, 2nd March 2016

My Lords, this is all very well but will the noble Lord confirm that one of the ideas of his department is for doctors to prescribe medicines for a longer period so that fewer trips are made to the pharmacy, thereby compensating for the closure of up to 3,000 pharmacies? However, is he aware that it is estimated that £300 million worth of medicines are wasted every year? I understand that a third of that is in medicines that are never opened by patients. Surely it is not cost-effective to extend the length of the prescription time because all you will do is add to wastage of medicines.