Gransnet forums


Medication supplies

(118 Posts)
GrandmainOz Fri 22-Mar-19 01:46:20

This is NOT a Brexit thread. I'm not giving my opinion on Brexit. I'm only questioning its effects. Please don't tell me your opinions. I'm not interested in arguments.
I'd just like to ask people a factual question: if their medical treatment/medication is being affected?
I'm worried about my very close friend.
He was diagnosed with a significant, at that time life limiting, condition 20 years ago (he's now 60).
After many years of worry, a new medication was trialled and it works. Jubilatation!
It got to the point where he only needed to see his GP every 3 months, and his consultant every 6 months.
He was given 6 months medication at a time and was at last free to travel and had peace of mind as the condition became virtually undetectable.
He moved out of London but found a GP with knowledge of his condition. All was well.
Fast forward to 4 mths ago. GP (Portuguese) goes back to Portugal. 3 mths ago consultant (Spanish) went back to Spain.
The only GP he could find was on the exact opposite end of his (very busy, populous) county. This journey is bad enough but could be made impossible if speculated motorway closure occurs.
He was told he could only have 1 month supply of medication from February. At his March appointment this week, that's been further cut to only 2 weeks' supply at a time.
After 10 years of getting 6 month prescriptions.
My friend's condition would quickly flare up and become potentially very serious without these drugs.
Is anyone else having problems? Have you lost your doctor, or had your supply of medication cut?
I'm so worried for my dear friend who has already been through so much.

Legs55 Fri 22-Mar-19 12:09:03

I am on medication for Type 2 Diabetes which is only prescribed 28 days at a time. I had a phone call from the Surgery this morning to say that a medication I take for Peripheral Neuropathy (not Diabetes related) is to be regulated to 28 days in future as it is now a Controlled Drug. All my other medications are for longer periods.

I don't think this has anything to do with the Government or NHS rationing. Pharmacists are often best people to discuss medications with, mine does my Annual review not GP. Although they cannot prescribe they have a greater awareness of medications due to their training. A good Pharmacist will always advise if you need to discuss any problems with your GP.

I am very surprised any-one could get more than 2 months supply of medication except in unusual circumstances.

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 12:10:26

Our GP surgery does 8 weeks at a time. This is efficient in terms of time and resources. It would irritate me to have to reorder every 4 weeks and I’m sure the surgery has better things to do - both admin staff and doctors.

Granny1London Fri 22-Mar-19 12:39:59

It is estimated that unused medication costs the NHS and therefore the taxpayer about £300 million a year. That is one good reason for monthly prescriptions.
Also pharmacists need to be paid for their work and get a fee tor each prescription dispensed.

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 12:50:24

If a GP thinks that a patient is wasting medicines, they should tackle them individually, not make sensible compliant patients like myself and DH have to keep reordering every 4 weeks the medicines we need to keep alive. It's also more work for the surgery staff

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 12:52:10

And if you are the type of irresponsible patient who doesn't take their medicines, then how often you can reorder them will hardly turn you into someone sensible will it?

omega1 Fri 22-Mar-19 12:53:08

I've just been diagnosed with pernicious anemia. Does anyone else have it. I don't know how else to post it as a heading

DotMH1901 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:09:41

I don't think it has anything to do with Brexit as such - GP's and other skilled people move back and forth all the time. My daughter needs Durogesic patches to help manage the pain she is in - her prognosis is that she will, most likely, need them for the rest of her life yet her GP will only issue a one month prescription for them at a time. During the Summer the patches often fail to stick for the required 3 days so she uses more than her normal prescription but it is hard work getting the surgery to authorise a further prescription. I think it is more down to the fact that GP's control their own budgets now and they don't want the expense of issuing prescriptions that might not get used. They really should be able to see where that will cause problems though and make an exception, especially for people like your friend.

Anniel Fri 22-Mar-19 13:11:24

Warfarin is limited to one month here in NWLondon because of safety concerns. There has been over prescribing of meds and as Maw pointed outbwhen someone dies all meds are thrown out. Prescribing only fortnightly seems harsh to me. See the pharmacist about it. I also travel but i can get the doctor overseas to prescribe thise which are available but for one thatbis not avaisblevmy gp here gives me a prescription. It is not due to Brexit. You could just as likely said there is moe demand as medicine advsnces and a growing population plus msny oldiesvliving longer. I do hope your friend gets hrlp.

Sueki44 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:13:19

I’m on medication and so is my husband, but similarly we only get a months at a time. Mine doesn’t really change but his does. Once a prescription leaves the surgery it cannot be returned, even if it’s never been just has to be binned. I’ve been in the surgery several times when bags and bags of unused prescriptions have been returned, either due to death or a change in medication. I think that it is this waste that doctors are trying to eliminate. This summer my husband was in intensive care for several weeks, during this time his prescription needed picking up but I told the pharmacist I wouldn’t take it. He was being medicated in hospital and I knew when he left his drugs would change and his old prescription for some fairly expensive drugs would be superfluous and ,if I’d taken them home they would be wasted.

Anniel Fri 22-Mar-19 13:13:20

Apologies for all mistakes. Typing on my phone is not my forte!

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:25:58

I suppose that surgeries have different systems but my prescriptions can only be reordered by me - not automatically. So if I didn't reorder, then the prescription wouldn't be dispensed and wasted .

Redrobin51 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:35:52

I have just been old a drug I have been on a long time has now become a "restricted drug" meaning I can only have one month's at a time. Instead of being printed out the go has to handwrite the script and I have to collect and sign for it instead of collecting it from the chemist. This is because it is being used as a top up drug by people who have a drug habit to supposedly enhance their experience so is being sold on the black market for a couple of pounds a tablet which would mean my normal prescription would be worth £230 so I can see the NHS point of view even though it is going to be a pain in the proverbial for me.x

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:42:25

yes Red I agree in an example like this absolutely.

Direne3 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:45:32

I appreciate the reasoning but still find it disturbing that all returned medication is destroyed when some items could be donated to struggling third world countries.

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:50:37

Direne when medicine is donated to a developing country, we should respect them enough to make sure what is provided is fit for purpose and hasn't been contaminated in any way or stored improperly

diamondsgirl Fri 22-Mar-19 13:55:08

I must fall into the lucky category..I recently moved house and while giving me a full check up my GP suggested I have a three month supply of my medications, as in the GP’s words, it would save me having to keep asking for repeats. These are then sent to my local Boots chemist where I pick up my medication and can have a chat with them if there are any problems. Maybe you could have a ask your Dr’s receptionist or secretary about the problems.

Direne3 Fri 22-Mar-19 13:59:39

What you say is quite right maryeliza54 and you're totally correct in saying that we should have respect but surely some items could be salvaged without risk.

devongranny Fri 22-Mar-19 14:00:14

Yes I have had difficulty obtaining my usual scripts as they cannot source 2 of them but are trying. Likewise my husband is having difficulty with his usual medications and has been given substitutes as his can’t be sourced either. Hope your friend will be ok.

Riggie Fri 22-Mar-19 14:21:57

For the last couple of years our area has been having a drive on cutting prescription waste. Nothing to do with Brexit!! So I am still getting my regular items on the same 2 monthly basis, but can't order them more than 7 days ahead of running out. The date we can order from comes up on the computer. They will do them earlier if going on a holiday but only with a lot of persuasion!

maryeliza54 Fri 22-Mar-19 14:25:50

Riggie our online system is very similar except we can order two weeks before. All surgeries could do this - its standard software. If you need to order earlier, e.g. going on holiday, theres a free text box you type the reason into

Jalima1108 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:09:30

I was told that, although in some countries, 12 months' worth of the medication I am on can be prescribed, the hospital pharmacist here has said no - on the grounds that a patient could be 'run over by a bus the next day and all those drugs would be wasted'!

Sussexborn Fri 22-Mar-19 15:09:48

The US has had a big crackdown on pain meds and we seem to be following their lead.

Having worked in a GP surgery the amount of wasted medication and paraphernalia is shocking.

Many people just don’t blindly trust GPs any more and some with good reason. Newly qualified GPS and even locums would just refuse to renew prescriptions in a cavalier fashion with no regard to the patient at all. The receptionist then gets verbally abused by the anxious and fearful patients. One of the reasons I left a job I previously loved!

muffinthemoo Fri 22-Mar-19 15:17:36

I got an extended repeat prescription a month ago after discussion with GP because I take a particular branded preparation of a medicine (the generic which is usually prescribed makes me very nauseous for some reason, probably the carrying agent?) and he wanted to make sure I wasn't scrabbling about post-29 March trying to get it.

Van-Nan Fri 22-Mar-19 15:21:26

Hello (first post!)

If I understand it, your friend still lives in the UK? With the move to electronic prescriptions, I would've thought he could have his 'sent' from his GP practice to any dispensing chemist. So, I haven't quite understood why he would need to travel in order to fetch monthly, or fortnightly prescriptions.

I am part of a community of people with a lifelong condition and I know of many students who collect their scripts locally when they are away from home, at university for instance.

Of course, your friend needs to be seen for his reviews, but I would fully expect for him to have his repeat scripts electronically dealt with. Unless I have misinterpreted the situation.

muffinthemoo Fri 22-Mar-19 15:25:47

The other big reason GPs are being strongly urged to cut down on prescribing big lumps of medication at a time is to try and cut down on suicides attempting/completed using prescription medications.

You give someone six months' worth of co-codamol in one go, and they have the wherewithal to complete suicide at any time. The imposition of volume limits on non-prescriptions painkillers such as paracetamol to some extent has to be accompanied by limiting the stocks the NHS will prescribe at once, too.