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Medicines as common commodities or powerful potions? What makes medicines reusable in people’s eyes

Chauhan, M., Alhamad, H., McCrindle, R., Hui, T. K.L., Sherratt, R. S. ORCID: and Donyai, P. ORCID: (2021) Medicines as common commodities or powerful potions? What makes medicines reusable in people’s eyes. Pharmacy, 9 (2). 88. ISSN 2226-4787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/pharmacy9020088


Abstract: Background: Medicines reuse involves dispensing quality-checked, unused medication returned by one patient for another, instead of disposal as waste. This is prohibited in UK com-munity pharmacy because storage conditions in a patient’s home could potentially impact on the quality, safety and efficacy of returned medicines. Our 2017 survey examining patients’ intentions to reuse medicines found many favoured medicines reuse. Our aim was to analyse the qualitative comments to explore people’s interpretations of what makes medicines (non-)reusable. Methods: Thematic analysis was used to scrutinize 210 valid qualitative responses to the survey to deline-ate the themes and super-ordinate categories. Results: Two categories were “medicines as com-mon commodities” versus “medicines as powerful potions”. People’s ideas about medicines aligned closely with other common commodities, exchanged from manufacturers to consumers, with many seeing medicines as commercial goods with economic value sanctioning their reuse. Fewer of the comments aligned with the biomedical notion of medicines as powerful potions, regulated and with legal and ethical boundaries limiting their (re)use. Conclusion: People’s pro-medicines-reuse beliefs align with perceptions of medicines as common commodities. This helps explain why patients returning their medicines to community pharmacies want these to be recycled. It could also explain why governments permit medicines reuse in emergencies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:97499


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