Normally when we become ill, we go to the doctor. The doctor decides if we need any medicine, which we get with a prescription in a drugstore or a pharmacy. In Germany, medicine usually comes in a paper packaging. The manufacturer determines the sizes of the packs and the amount of pills per carton. But very often the standard sizes do not meet the real requirements: there are either too many or not enough pills in a package, so that even two packs might be needed. But the surplus amounts are usually thrown away once the illness is cured because they cannot be reused due to hygienic reasons or the drug might have expired when it is needed again. This is a waste, a big waste of useful drugs, which could be used in other ways for other sick people in need. At the same time, the drugs we dispose of poison the environment.
A solution for this waste of resources could be that doctors count and calculate the exact number of drugs a patient needs and write the prescription only for this amount. This way the waste can be reduced or even avoided. Another effect of this would be that a lot of money can be saved, because drugs are expensive and wasting them is also a big waste of money. If we reduce the waste of drugs we could save a lot of money. We could also protect the environment, because drugs are hazardous waste and its disposal requires extra attention, which costs money too.
But how can we make the idea come true? First off all, we need to invent a system, with which the doctors can calculate the accurate number of the drugs the patients need. But this system has to be so cheap that every doctor can buy it. Secondly, we have to revolutionize the drugstores so that the druggists can give out the accurate number of drugs.
But this is system would have to be extended even further. Sometimes people go to the drugstore to buy a prescription-free drug. For this we need a similar solution. Maybe little packages with 10 tablets or little bottles of medicine can be sold. The drugs should be packaged in a way that unused medicine can be resold or recycled. When packages are returned, a refund can be paid.
With these ideas pharmaceutical waste can be reduced and the environment can be protected.