Gransnet forums

Medication supplies

(117 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.

GrandmainOz Fri 22-Mar-19 01:50:20

P.S. I didn't mean to sound rude "not interested in others' opinions" sounds very brusque. Please don't misunderstand me. All I mean is I'm asking a practical question as to whether people are having medical worries recently.
Not a political one questioning people's Brexit vote!!

janeainsworth Fri 22-Mar-19 02:53:49

Grandma I think GPs generally are under pressure from their Clinical Commissioning groups (or whatever the correct term is) to prescribe only one month's supply of drugs at a time, presumably to stop patients stockpiling expensive drugs.
If your friend's drugs are expensive, it could be something to do with the practice not exceeding its budget for this financial year, given that this happened in March.
I spend months at a time in the US but when I asked if I could have 4 months' supply of medication instead of 1 month, there was no problem getting my prescription changed.
Perhaps your friend could explain to his GP that he would like to travel and ask for enough medication to cover his travels.

GrandmainOz Fri 22-Mar-19 03:34:39

Thanks jane my friend did enquire about why he couldn't at least have a month's worth, but was told quite sharply that he couldn't. His partner has had to go back to Spain as their job was no longer guaranteed by the UK agency they worked for, so it's a very difficult situation. Thanks for your response

TwiceAsNice Fri 22-Mar-19 08:57:01

My prescription for the year is sent from the surgery to my local pharmacy of choice. They then hold the prescription ( so no need to see GP for another until review appt) If I need extra medication because of being away I just put in my repeat prescription to the surgery and pick up the extra at the chemist a few days later. It’s never a problem. Could you discuss it with the pharmacist and see if they can suggest something?

FlexibleFriend Fri 22-Mar-19 09:34:06

I've only ever been able to get a months supply of drugs at a time so doubt that's anything new. My pharmacy drives me mad I put in a script a week ago for fragmin a daily injection needed to prevent my blood from clotting, they knew it was urgent and I've just been told they should have it by monday. I have to keep a secret supply otherwise I'm left with none and have to see a particular nurse at the anticoagulation clinic at the hospital who will bail me out. Great if she's on duty not so great if she's on holiday. I have a problem every month.

Urmstongran Fri 22-Mar-19 10:00:32

I’m with TwiceAsNice over the 4 years since we’ve retired my pharmacist has allowed me to take 2 months supply of my anti hypertension tablets, with my GP’s approval for when we go to our little place in Malaga. Never a problem.

Marieeliz Fri 22-Mar-19 11:03:43

Only allowed a month at a time. Think it is about stockpiling. If I need them earlier than during date I have to explain to Receptionist why like holiday.

Caro57 Fri 22-Mar-19 11:04:07

It depends a lot on the medication - regulations are changing for many reasons. As suggested a friendly chat with your dispensing pharmacist may shed some light and provide some solutions

Marieeliz Fri 22-Mar-19 11:04:24

Due date!

NanaMacGeek Fri 22-Mar-19 11:06:59

I have had serious health problems for nearly 20 years. My specialists and their teams have been great. Over the years my treatment has been refined and last year, new medication and a new regime gave me the best year healthwise and hope that I could start to plan ahead.

However, my current medication is in such short supply that I was switched to an older product last week. I don't know how effective it is yet and I still haven't heard if I can continue taking that. I run out tomorrow and I can't get any information.

GrandmainOz, I understand what your friend is going through.

jaylucy Fri 22-Mar-19 11:07:07

It may well come down to money and nothing to do with Brexit. Or maybe that particular GP may only prescribe that particular drug that way. Suggest that he sees another GP in the practice?
As far as the consultant and previous GP - they will have been under contract - either annual or 6 monthly and due to leave anyway.
Suggest he sees another GP in the practise (there must be one!) and explain the problem and hopefully will get a month at a time - or has he tried one of the companies that deliver to his home address?
My local surgery will only give out 1 month at a time and you have to give at least 4 days notice for next months supply. Very unusual to be given a 6 month supply unless you are going out of the country!

evianers Fri 22-Mar-19 11:09:12

We sympathise. You are, however, not alone here. At the end of December, our GP retired and has not been replaced. My OH's excellent urological-oncologist has been head-hunted by the Swiss [just across the lake from us], and our lovely opthalmologist also retired at the end of last year. This in an area which is considered "upmarket" and which has absolutely nothing to do with Brexit. Seems as though it is simply a sign of the times Europe-wide.

spabbygirl Fri 22-Mar-19 11:15:29

I think this gov't have been running down the health service to force us to go private because they believe the NHS is too expensive & many NHS staff have left because of it, I'm one of them. Vote Labour next time, they want a flourishing health service for everyone.

Charleygirl5 Fri 22-Mar-19 11:15:53

I must be very fortunate, I have 3 months supply of each drug I am prescribed.

NotSpaghetti Fri 22-Mar-19 11:16:51

Is it an expensive drug? If not, can he get a back-up private prescription?
I know this is sometimes possible.

inishowen Fri 22-Mar-19 11:21:01

I am on blood pressure tablets and was only allowed to get one months supply at a time. After putting in a request they've upped it to 2 months at a time. I'm also on a three monthly B12 injection. They used to give me 2 years supply at once, now it's one phial at a time. I was told it was because the injections can go out of date. I'm on an NHS waiting list to get a mole removed. I've been told it'll be about a year. I just hope it's not cancerous. Whether this is because of Brexit or lack of funds I don't know.

madmum38 Fri 22-Mar-19 11:25:31

I know how it feels, a diabetic magazine said that it was going to be hard getting my particular insulin, I have been on it for 40+ years apart from when I was tried on something else and reacted badly. I asked if this was true and was assured by my doctor there would be no problem.
Last month I had my diabetic review at the hospital and was told my animal insulin was stopping being produced and I had to go on to the human one, no other choice, seems a big coincidence though.
I am so worried as if it goes wrong again there is no going back this time

icanhandthemback Fri 22-Mar-19 11:31:38

I'm not sure how much this is to do with Brexit but to do with a lack of funds and over prescribing. My daughter is in bits as she has a condition that many GP's don't really understand but means that the way she metabolises the standard medication has no effect on pain levels. She has to have Morphine and Diclofenac, the former heavily regulated and the latter no longer prescribed because of the side effects. As she has moved house, the Dr has said she has to move surgeries and she is terrified that the new GP won't understand her condition so won't prescribe what is necessary for her to live a reasonably pain free life. It has taken so long to get to a place where she is able to do things, the thought that she might go backwards is just unthinkable.

GabriellaG54 Fri 22-Mar-19 11:31:54

I think people expect too much.
1 months supply is commonplace.
Be thankful that you have relatively easy access to pharma. Many people don't know what clean water is.

MawBroon Fri 22-Mar-19 11:32:12

From my experience it is a question of economy triggered by the quantities of drugs most people especially the chronically sick keep at home usually for very good reason I hasten to add.
BUT on that persons death all the drugs held must be returned and are destroyed
We ecperienced this with paw whose life limiting illnesses involved a vast raft of drugs which were essential on a daily basis and occasionally compromised by glitches in.the productipn/supply chain.
After his death we returned 2 big plastic boxes of meds - many of them very expensive such as immunosuppressants.
So prescribing 6 months supply as a matter of course is bad practice from the point of potential waste

ReadyMeals Fri 22-Mar-19 11:42:15

The government have made it clear that contingency plans for medication were one of their first priorities and arrangements for that are already in place. Please don't worry x

Phoebes Fri 22-Mar-19 11:49:42

Very helpful, Gabriella, not!

B9exchange Fri 22-Mar-19 11:51:54

I don't think the political situation will affect supplies, but shortages of drugs seem part of life now, recently it was Naproxen, which now seems to be available again. CCGs are cutting down on the amount you can have at one time, I used to be able to get one year's supply of scripts, for drugs I will be on for the rest of my life, sent to the pharmacy so I just rang them up when I needed another two months' supply. (Repeat Dispensing) I am told that is now being stopped, and I will have to go back to the surgery every two months, which is a waste of everyone's time.

BazingaGranny Fri 22-Mar-19 11:58:16

It must cost more in pharmacy time, GP prescription writing time, nurse time and certainly MY time to have my one daily tablet (bp) prescribed for two months at a time, rather than three monthly or six monthsly, as prescribed previously.

GrandmainOz - it might be that a consultant can prescribe medication for six months at a time, and a GP can’t.

Do hope it’s sorted out for your friend soon.