Leicestershire charity recycles £10m of waste medicine

A Leicestershire charity has recycled more than £10m of unwanted medicines to help save lives in Africa.

Latest figures from the National Audit Office suggest about £800m worth of drugs dispensed to patients in the UK is unused and going to waste.

Inter Care, based in Syston, send surplus medicines to people living in poverty in rural Africa.

The charity recycles quality in-date patient returned medicines from about 1,000 GPs across the country.

These medicines would otherwise be sent to landfill or incinerated.

According to the charity, the patients who benefit have an average life expectancy often less than 40 years of age.

The medicines and surgical aids are sent to more than 100 health units in Africa.

A charity spokesman said: "As a small charity we are able to make a huge impact - for every £1 donated we are able to send £4 worth of medicines.

"We have over 40 trained volunteers, many of whom are former GPs, pharmacists and nurses who help screen and quality control all the medicines we recycle.

"These unused medicines are literally lifesavers to people in desperately poor parts of Africa who would otherwise be unable to afford them, or even in some cases may be treated at a health centre that simply cannot obtain them."

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