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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why many will welcome Shipman Inquiry report

We are all aware of the terrible waste associated with prescribed medications that, for a variety of reasons, are not taken by patients and are subsequently either thrown away or returned to doctors' surgeries and chemists for disposal. This seems to be even more criminal since the introduction of pre-packaged, original-packs, ensuring such drugs are easily identifiable, uncontaminated and have long

shelf-lives.

The tsunami disaster has focused all our minds on ways that we can help those so badly affected by it. The ensuing, potentially fatal, diseases from that disaster will require medical aid for many months to come.

Let's ask patients to return all unused drugs so we can sort out the most useful and forward them to the relief charities where they can be packaged and flown to Asia.

Perhaps we can even encourage the pharmaceuticals industry to provide the logistics support. Such an effort would be a comparatively cost-free way for the public and health care sector to provide further aid to those stricken by this disaster.

This is such a simple thing to do ­ why don't we do it!

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