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Patient of West Essex about Prescriptions



Prescription drugs changed for cheaper versions - “I am disgusted”

The Limes Medical Centre have put into place a procedure to save money on prescription drugs. My father died from Oesophogeal Cancer and I have had reflux for several years and this has been kept at bay with Rabeprazole tablets twice a day. I am now told by my GP who earns in excess of £100000 per year ,that I have to go on a cheaper drug (lansaprozole) as the drug I am on is expensive and all SW Essex surgeries have been told to reduce their prescription expenditure. Whilst appreciating the costings, nobody takes into account the patient! A drug that has been effective for a long time is withdrawn for a cheaper variety which almost probably does not have the same effect on the patient. Why should we suffer due to costs brought on by people that have never paid into the the system. Surely doctors should take into account what a particular drug is in fact doing for the patient! Can a cheaper drug be as effective? My wife has been on Co-Proximol for many years due to severe pain and recently was told that this drug was also being withdrawn and she had to go on Co-Dydromol a cheaper drug. When will this stop? Must we suffer to save money? If the cheaper drugs are not going to do the job of more expensive ones, then patients will be seeing their GPs more often than they should. I am disgusted by this situation and would appreciate your views and comments.

2 Responses

 Patient on 28th November 2013

Co Proxamol was actually withdrawn over concerns about patient safety, not because of the cost.

 Patient of West Essex on 20th September 2012

“I agree with Normie” - and have also experienced the problem of cost-cutting on the drugs bill - “it’s causing distress” I too have met with this problem and at the time I read an article in the paper so I have included the contents here. .....the Chief Executive to the Patients Association said "what's the point of Nice approving medicines if they are not being made available?". As the chief executive of the Diabetes UK said " people's health must not be compromised with attempts to cut costs". The article went on to say that the red lists were only for guidance but GPs often feel pressured to follow the advice because trusts hold the purse strings. The Department of Health stressed that GPs are "independent contractors and are not obliged to follow PCTs suggestions". Doctors should prescribe medicines on clinical need. They should involve their patient and take account of clinical suitability, risk assessments and value for money. They are legally obliged to fund treatments and drugs recommended by Nice. Perhaps Normie should contact the Patients Association and Diabetes UK for confirmation of these comments but they must have appeared in the Daily Mail a few months ago now. This problem is now widespread and is causing a great deal of distress amongst patients but we are absolutely unable to do anything about it. If only those concerned in this practise were aware of the distress they are causing I wonder how they would feel, but then they must be aware!

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