Author Topic: Medication Supply Difficulties  (Read 739 times)

ditchdwellers

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Medication Supply Difficulties
« on: 15 Oct 2022 01:21PM »
I put in a repeat prescription request last weekend for my usual months supply of medication to the doctors surgery.


The pharmacy is generally very quick at delivering my sackfull of meds and I can normally expect them by midweek at the latest after ordering.
Over the last few months I've had to chase them up as I've been running out of essential drugs only to find out there are severe supply problems with some of the drugs.


Today, my husband was filling my dosette box for the week for me (that's my definition of love ❤) and we realised I hadn't had my delivery this week. He shot round to the pharmacy and they gave him what they had but for one of my meds they can't get hold of anywhere and are going to have to phone my doctor on Monday to see if they can prescribe an alternative. Only problem is that this med is prescribed by the hospital consultant and the GP won't act without permission from the consultant! What a palaver.


Anyone else going through medication supply problems? Is it Brexit? Instability in Europe?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #1 on: 15 Oct 2022 02:48PM »
There's a type of drug I use where there are problems.

I take two medications as 'mood stabilisers' that are also used for various other conditions, including epilepsy.

After the brexit referendum, a consultant neurologist started campaigning about this sort of drug and the need for the government to ensure supplies post brexit, because there had already been problems.  Other professionals backed him up.

For instance, in 2015, a two month supply of one drug, lamotrigine, had five different brands.  Yes, five.  What suddenly dawned on me, and I researched it and found that I was right, was that they had different levels of bioavailability.  I pointed out to the pharmacist in the shop in question that she should be warning people about the variations between the drugs, not least because in my case my neurologist was trying to assess whether the drug was causing my ataxia, but also because for others, that variation could be worrisome in terms of suicide risk.

I had always supported local pharmacies but now changed to a branch of Lloyds, because their sheer size and purchasing power make it easier for them to keep supplies going and thus change brands less frequently.

Meanwhile, in early 2020, having had increasing difficulty over time getting a single brand of my other drug, valproate,  I told my GP I wanted to halve my dose, which at that point was two tablets a day of the smallest dose on the market.  I said that I was happy with my current dose, but anticipated problems and didn't want to go cold-turkey if supplies were interrupted.

I believe that the reduced dose has made it harder for me to fight low moods, but given that I couldn't get any valproate with my last prescription, although they'd got supplies when I went back a week later, I think I made the right decision.

I try always to re-order when I've got two and a bit weeks' worth left but sometimes I leave it less long.  My heart goes out to those that don't have the choice of ordering early or have other problems relating to getting prescriptions.

All that being said, I think that supply problems are down to a combination of factors.  One is that there's big money in pharmaceuticals and that has, over the decades, led to what I personally regard as some very unethical behaviour, just as is the case with other big industries. I think it's a rare person that has what it takes to get into a position of power in a very big business without greed being their biggest driver. 

Just look what's happening with Pfizer.  Whilst some people are arguing over whether vaccinations are safe or not, and I'm not arguing that theirs aren't (I didn't split hairs over brand for my booster) they've been caught funding people/organisations that stress problems with rival brands, and price-gouging on a level I'll describe as evil.

As for brexit, I can think of lots of reasons why that would be relevant, but then I'm a 'remoaner'. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #2 on: 16 Oct 2022 04:30PM »
Quote
...there's big money in pharmaceuticals
Isn't there just - and that worries me at times also, though don't they spend a hell of a lot on research to get their drug onto the market as safe and effective?  At least, that would be their stated reason for making some medications so expensive to the NHS!


I've had problems in the past with sodium valproate as well (though thank goodness I was able to wean myself off it under doctor's supervision and agreement last summer, mainly so it wouldn't clash with my HRT) and from time to time, supply issues with the anti-psychotic quetiapine as well.  There seem to be a lot of different brand names for the latter, I am getting 'Sondate' at the moment.  It didn't occur to me there might be variations between brands that could impact their effect...

JLR2

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #3 on: 16 Oct 2022 09:52PM »
The nearest thing to a problem I'm experiencing re my prescriptions is the lack of HiBiscrub. Back at the onset of Covid19 I could understand there being shortages with the supply of it as it is a very good cleanser and leaves a protecting film on the hands for a number of hours after its application. I'm not sure about quite what to do so far as complaining to my GP goes, do I raise the problem asking again for its prescription or should I look to find another chemist to fulfil the prescription?  My problem with finding another chemist is one of distance as the local chemist I have here also runs the few other chemists in nearby villages. Even the nearest village would involve a 12 mile journey the other being a 20 mile round trip, so 40 miles if you take the presenting the prescription and then returning for its collection.


Having said that re the HiBiscrub, I do have some here at home and just try to make it last as best I can, it sounds nothing like the problems I was reading from yourselves. I'd be wrecked were I not able to get my painkillers of which I have so many now I need other pills to counter act the damage and upset they cause to my stomach.
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2022 07:24AM by JLR2 »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #4 on: 16 Oct 2022 11:58PM »
If you can't get it on the NHS without a palaver, could you afford to buy it?  I've just checked online.  It's not cheap but it's available on ebay.

I'm not saying you should have to buy it, just looking for a safety net, as it were.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #5 on: 18 Oct 2022 07:31AM »
Good morning Sunny, I am very reluctant to use ebay for things such as hibiscrub just as I wouldn't buy anything else where there is a chance of it ending up becoming internal, pills etc. As the hibiscrub leaves its protection on the skin for quite a time the chances are it would see traces being carried on such as bread or anything else I held before eating it. I think I'll raise my issues re this availability problem with the dr's surgery later today and see how I get on.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #6 on: 18 Oct 2022 06:01PM »
I think it's wise to take safety into account with decisions.

What I personally find places like ebay useful for for things like that is if I find that a shop/business selling something is reasonably close to me (even if it's an excuse for a day out) or a branch of somewhere local I trust, and where they've got what I think of as leftover stock.

But I've been looking for some while for Selsun, and not the Selsun Blue, and I've declined to buy from what I'll call 'unknown sellers of potentially dodgy goods'.  And we each have our own ways of considering what's an ok source or not for something we want.

So I am glad that when considering my suggestion, you applied what you regard as sensible safety standards. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #7 on: 21 Oct 2022 08:33AM »
I finally received most of my meds mid week however I'm still missing my narcolepsy meds which run out over the weekend  :f_yikes: :f_yikes:
I'm terrified of life without them as I know the daytime hallucinations, sleep paralysis, sleep attacks, cognitive problems, and continuous sleepiness will be back like a shot. I'll be back to where my dream world bleeds into my waking state and my sense of reality becomes blurred.


We all take and use medications for very good reasons and not for the fun of it, so when our supplies are threatened it can be life life changing and damaging.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #8 on: 21 Oct 2022 11:17PM »
I feel I want to reply but struggle to say anything that doesn't sound either trite or overdone.

It may be too late to stop you having some nasty recurrence of narcolepsy symptoms, but I really, really hope that your narcolepsy meds come through soon so that you don't suffer more than a bare minimum.

 :big_hugs: :big_hugs:
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #9 on: 22 Oct 2022 07:17PM »
Thank you for your considerate reply.


I'm pleased to say that the immediate crisis is over. After spending yesterday without any narcolepsy meds I yet again chased up the pharmacy who in turn were waiting for the GP to authorise an alternative brand medication. So after a few phone calls I had the assurance that a medication would be ready to collect today which is just as well as I slept over 13 hours last night and would have slept longer if my husband hadn't woken me up because we had to go out and he wanted to give me time to get myself together!


Now I have the new meds and I hope they work in the same way as the other brand!

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #10 on: 22 Oct 2022 09:03PM »
Could you send me some of your unused narcolepsy through the post to help me with my insomnia?  :f_winkeye:

Seriously, I'm glad you've got your meds and I hope they're as good as the other brand.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #11 on: 23 Oct 2022 02:18PM »
Weirdly insomnia is also a symptom of narcolepsy, so try figuring that one out  :f_laugh: :f_laugh: :f_laugh: .


Seriously though, I know how much sleep deprivation can drive you round the bend and you have my sympathy  :f_hug:

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Medication Supply Difficulties
« Reply #12 on: 25 Oct 2022 06:25PM »
JLR,


Can you buy HiBiscrub from the local vets?

 :big_hugs:

I hope your medication arrived okay.