The call comes as part of the ongoing 'Your Medicines, Your NHS' campaign, which aims to reduce the £4.7m* cost of medicine wasted in Norfolk and Waveney each year.
The final phase concentrates on using generic medicines wherever appropriate, as opposed to branded products which can be up to 80% more expensive. Using the strapline "cost effective medicine", health bosses hope to raise awareness that on occasions, GPs may prescribe non-branded medicines (generic), which do exactly the same job and have been tested to the same rigorous standards as the well-known branded versions. Savings on generic medicines can then be reinvested into health services elsewhere.
The campaign has been organised by Norfolk and Waveney's five clinical commissioning groups - Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North Norfolk, West Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk - which together spent £167m on 23 million prescription items between March 2015 and 2016.
Prescribing generic medicines has saved the NHS £7.1 billion since 1976 and allowed more than 490 million more items to be prescribed without an increase in total spending**. Currently, nearly eight out of 10 prescriptions in the UK are for generic drugs.
Ian Small, Head of Medicines Management for the Norfolk CCGs, said: "We hope that people will take on board this important message and help us to save the NHS money by supporting the use of cost effective medicines whenever they can."
To find out more about the campaign, visit www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk and click on the links from the homepage. Alternatively, you can follow the campaign on Twitter @YourMED_YourNHS and use the hashtags #costeffectivemedicine and #yourmedicines.