Gransnet forums

AIBU expect the NHS to procure basic medicines?

(32 Posts)
janeainsworth Tue 25-Mar-14 16:26:29

DH has had hypertension for the last 25 years and for the last few years has been in a combination of drugs that control it just about satisfactorily.
None of them are esoteric or expensive.
This week he tried to get a repeat prescription, only to be told by the pharmacist that two of them are 'out of stock'.
Not just out of stock at the local chemists, but completely out of stock over the whole country.
He had to go to the GP yesterday and get a prescription for something to replace the Valsartan, and ring the pharmacist to see if the co-amilozide is now in stock.
It isn't.
He's now on the phone to the doctor asking what he can have instead.
Is this good enough?

Aka Tue 25-Mar-14 16:39:08

No, not good enough. Whatever next?

Tegan Tue 25-Mar-14 16:46:19

Could they get Diovan instead of valsartan?

janeainsworth Tue 25-Mar-14 16:57:47

He has got candesartan instead of the valsartan, waiting for dr to ring back about the other one.
There must be millions of people in this position, all causing extra work for the GP practices angry

FlicketyB Tue 25-Mar-14 17:02:54

... and the danger of adverse reactions to changes of medication and their interaction with other medications.

janeainsworth Tue 25-Mar-14 17:08:45

And the other thing was that when he tried to find out what was going on by googling 'drug shortages', he came upon a secret website that was accessible only to pharmaceutical professionals!

durhamjen Tue 25-Mar-14 17:19:49

Are you still registered as dentists, Jane?
I find out a lot of stuff about the NHS on the Pulse website which says it is for health professionals. You could probably sign up to it and find out the secret stuff that they do not want the rest of us to know.

janeainsworth Tue 25-Mar-14 17:21:06

Yes I do read Pulse Jen - agree it gives a different insight, doesn't it.

durhamjen Tue 25-Mar-14 17:43:58

Yes, very. It's good to know how some GPs think of the people they treat.
The latest news is that there are more female than male GPs.

Tegan Tue 25-Mar-14 18:05:38

The ones that there always seemed to be a problem with were schizophrenia drugs; the sort that it was very important that patients didn't switch from. If I remember right there was even a problem with thyroxine one year. Pharmacists carry much greater stock than surgeries so you can usually find one somewhere that still has some on a shelf somewhere.

janeainsworth Tue 25-Mar-14 18:23:20

No Tegan this was our local Boot the Chemists, and the other local independent pharmacies don't have them either.
Apparently there are similar problems in the USA so I perhaps shouldn't be blaming the NHS confused

kittylester Tue 25-Mar-14 18:34:01

Not really on topic but on another thread I was complaining about Boots not being able to access something I had on prescription. We googled it, found it was discountinued, went in and told the Boots pharmacist, got a replacement prescription, had it filled at Boots. Today, I got a phone call, from Boots, telling me that the product was discontinued. confused

Charleygirl Tue 25-Mar-14 18:34:11

I discovered a couple of weeks ago that a drug that I have been taking for around 40 years had been discontinued. This panicked me somewhat as it is helping to keep me alive! A trip to the GP, left the prescription in the hands of the receptionist. Anyway, 2 days later it was sorted to everybody's satisafaction, especially mine.

Soutra Tue 25-Mar-14 20:45:10

DH also takes Valsartan and was told there was a production so not NHS fault. Like yours he was prescribed Candesartan but Boots typically had to order it in and he had literally run out by the time I could collect. I think our Boots keeps lower stocks than they used to and we regularly get incomplete prescriptions. This means I have to drive another 2 miles each way. hmm

durhamjen Tue 25-Mar-14 22:15:18

Once my husband had put in a prescription for insulin and when we went to collect it, we were told that the pharmacy did not have any of that type, as he was the only person in the village that used it, so they did not keep it in stock. This was a Saturday morning, so we had to phone round all the pharmacies that were open and drive to Asda to get it.
He'd been diabetic for 50+ years and never had that happen before.

Deedaa Tue 25-Mar-14 22:17:42

I've been surprised a couple of times when our pharmacy has only been able to give me part of my husband's insulin and I've had to go back a day or two later. I'd have thought that insulin was something they would keep good supplies of. It's not something you can do without for a few days while they get more supplies.

ninathenana Tue 25-Mar-14 22:59:16

Our local Boots don't keep the insulin I've been prescribed in stock at all, they always have to order it in. I don't know about other types.

The independent pharmacy next to our GP surgery is notorious for not being able to fill all of a prescription.
angry angry

durhamjen Tue 25-Mar-14 23:15:41

Discussions on drugs for hypertension on
Many Americans but some British.

Soutra Wed 26-Mar-14 08:10:01

Why are we blaming the NHS for the drug companies' shortcomings?

janeainsworth Wed 26-Mar-14 08:28:09

Well Soutra I'm not sure we should, but I think those involved in the NHS supply side could perhaps anticipate these things, particularly for drugs that are in such common use, so that alternatives can be procured in a planned way and not as a last-minute panic.
After all you don't often find all the supermarkets completely running out of things like milk and bacon at the same time, do you?
Jen could you point me in the direction of the relevant discussions on the website - I couldn't find it.

annsixty Wed 26-Mar-14 09:10:11

This week,for the first time ,my local pharmacy could not fill my prescription for my blood pressure pills. I didn't think it strange at the time but this has made me think again.

kittylester Wed 26-Mar-14 09:38:32

I wonder if it makes a difference if you leave your prescription with the pharmacy for repeats? Surely, they should have 'systems' in place in that case?

Tegan Wed 26-Mar-14 12:43:35

There is often a warning about certain drugs being in short supply; the problem then being that everyone stocks up on them and makes the situation worse. If there's a scare over a certain drug then there will be time allowed to see the patients and prescribe an alternative. I wonder if this is something to do with it being the end of the financial year and companies doing their stocktaking?Could always contact a distribution company such as Phoenix or Unichem and see if they will provide an answer as to why there's a shortage and when it will be back in stock? Pity I've had a bust up with my previous employers or I could have phoned up and asked a few questions sad.

gillybob Wed 26-Mar-14 12:57:06

Apologies for making light of a serious subject. But any drug shortages could possibly lead to the wardrobe in my grandma's back bedroom. grin

I recently took her (lovely) GP through to have a look while she was (very unusually for her) poorly in bed. His jaw literally dropped to the floor as he went through the various bags and boxes and declared that he had never seen anything like it in his life adding that "any druggies might think they had died and gone to heaven, if they found this stash". I begged him to take them away with him and we sat for 20 minutes making a list of what he was removing. The stupid thing is that it was his surgery that prescribed them all in the first place. His surgery giving the repeat prescriptions. I can honestly say that now they are gone I feel a lot better and am just waiting for the shit to hit the fan bomb to go off when she discovers that her stash has disappeared.

kittylester Wed 26-Mar-14 13:11:34

You could have made a killing there Gilly, quite literally! Though, if there is a shortage of paracetamol I could do you a good very price on those. That all stems from the one Christmas when everyone in our house had flu. I could only buy a maximum of 32 in any one place and lots of places had run out. Never again!! We have them in all bathroom cabinets and the medicine drawer blush