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GP has list in waiting room of items they will no longer prescribe

(31 Posts)
weebleswobble Fri 15-Jun-07 12:34:39

West Herts Health Authority covers the area where I live and I was shocked to see a list in the waiting room of prescriptions they will no longer issue. They include:

Hay fever medication
Head lice treatment
Preparations with glucosamine
Pain killers for 'minor pain'
Anti-inflamatories containing Nurofen
Treatment for constipation/diarrhoea
Anti-perspirant (I'm assuming this is one they can prescribe when it's a serious problem)

The list went on but I can't remember all that were on there.

I do realise that they are watching their budgets but surely this will affect low income households.

I'm wondering whether my next prescription request for myself and the dcs hayfever will be refused. It's going to cost me a fortune if I have to buy it all.

Has anyone else seen similar?

Ceolas Fri 15-Jun-07 12:37:37

Will they not prescribe for low income families who get them free?

If you pay for prescriptions, often these items are cheaper OTC.

weebleswobble Fri 15-Jun-07 12:42:36

There's nothing on the list to say there are any exceptions. I have to request our meds in a couple of weeks, so I'm waiting to see what happens when I do. If they refuse I am going to speak to the Practice Manager.

I don't pay for scripts because I get WTC and really couldn't afford the extra expense of the hayfever meds. I don't get scripts for things that I can afford to purchase at a pharmacy, but I'm aware, working at a surgery, that many do.

PrettyCandles Fri 15-Jun-07 12:43:47

weeble, you can often find generic drugs for a fraction the price of the branded drug. They're manufactured by the same licence holder. Eg I buy "Value Health" Loratadine in Boots for about 80p for 7 tablets. It's hidden away on the bottom shelf, but the tablets are identical to the stuff on the top shelf at about £2 for 7 tablets.

LIZS Fri 15-Jun-07 12:47:08

The Nurofen and Calpol may simply be a case of prescribing the unbranded equivalent ie Ibruprofen bp. Is glucosamine a sweetener/flavouring ?

weebleswobble Fri 15-Jun-07 12:56:13

According to the list they won't prescribe painkillers for 'minor pain' so I'm assuming that covers the generic painkillers too.

Glucosamine is used for joint pain but it's not proven scientifically to work apparently. My consultant told me to take it for my osteo-arthritis so I'm thinking he must know what he's talking about, but when I told my GP he told me to take it, he said there were no proven benefits and wouldn't advise me to take it. This was a few weeks before this list appeared.

Prettycandles, I know the generics are cheaper and I always buy them but it's particularly the hayfever ones that mount up cost wise over the hayfever season. Together with they eyedrops it mounts up to a sum.

3littlefrogs Fri 15-Jun-07 13:21:08

As far as i know, there is some research to show that glucosamine is effective for joint pain. BBC Doc Rosemary Leonard was talking about it several months ago, and she said it has been shown to work.

TBH I am not sure if it is legal for GP to issue a blanket refusal to prescribe certain drugs. I would be inclined to seek clarification from the PCT.Write to your MP and get them to look into it - that is what they get paid for.

themildmanneredjanitor Fri 15-Jun-07 13:24:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadOldBint Fri 15-Jun-07 13:25:04

Ditto here TMMJ

Grooveisintheheart Fri 15-Jun-07 13:26:31

no emoillants? dd1 goes through 3 tubes of aveeno a week on her own!! let alone dd2+3 emoillants, dh emoillant is £12 a bottle.

oh goodness i hope this doesnt go into our herts district.

BettySpaghetti Fri 15-Jun-07 13:26:38

Surely they would stil prescribe for children or those on a low-income who are entitled to free prescriptions anyway?

Grooveisintheheart Fri 15-Jun-07 13:27:15

and dh is on constipation meds due to being o0n hefty painkillers which bung him up.

weebleswobble Fri 15-Jun-07 13:30:04

Betty - I looked at the list to see if anything was mentioned about low income families or the elderly and it does not state that there will be any exceptions.

I've searched the PCT's website and can't find anything relating to this.

It's typed on West Hert headed paper. I'm contacting them now through their website to seek clarification.

BettySpaghetti Fri 15-Jun-07 13:31:52

weebleswobble,let us know the outcome won't you.

I really can't see that they can refuse if patients are saying "My child needs x medication for x condition, I can't afford to buy it"

weebleswobble Fri 15-Jun-07 13:55:03

I'll post the reply when I get it. I pointed out that there is no information on their website about this and asked what provision they are making for low incomes.

weebleswobble Fri 22-Jun-07 10:34:12


I had a phone call from Mr Cooke at the PCT. He said everything on the list can be purchased at pharmacies and they are trying to reduce their prescribing costs.

I asked what provision will be made for low income familes/people on benefits or pensioners. No provision is being made.

I asked why my NHS Consultant recommends I take glucosamine which is on the non-prescribable list and very expensive. He stumbled over telling me that they are trying to co-ordinate what the Consultants say -v- what can be prescribed.

As far as emollients go - if it is for excema or another serious skin complaint it will still be prescribed.

He said head lice treatment was not essential and did not cause any medical problem.

Hayfever medication can be bought in tablet form cheaply. I pointed out that my dcs amongst others cannot swallow tablets and the liquid preparations are not cheap to buy. He agreed and moved on.

He pointed out that years ago cough mixtures were prescribed but that was stopped. This is another list of medications that won't be prescribed and is just a way the NHS is moving forward.

He assured me they will be updating their website and reviewing the list to make it less ambiguous.

pacinofan Fri 22-Jun-07 21:26:59

When dd1 attended her first nursery, their policy was to administer medicines only if prescribed by a GP.

DD1 needed Calpol and I was flatly refused this on prescription. I did explain the situation, but the practice manager was actually quite shirty! So, no Calpol for dd1 in nursery. What cheesed us off was that the practice were making assumptions about our ability to afford medicines, which is completely wrong imo.

In contrast, my sister-in-law's GP is more than happy to prescribe this, they NEVER pay for Calpol and the like.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 24-Jun-07 18:23:40

Our doctors also has a list of what wont be prescribed pretty similar to the above. TBH I would never have even thought to get a script for the bulk of the items on the list as they can be bought OTC from chemists and supermarkets.

LadyVictoriaOfCake Sun 24-Jun-07 18:35:06

yes most can be bought OTC, but if you have an ongoing condition and require these medicines daily then it can cost an awful lot.

dd1 was going through one of these in a week i had one GP tell me i was using too much, lets just say i was not impressed.

we now go through 4-6 tubes of this a week instead between 3 kids.

CaptainUnderpants Sun 24-Jun-07 18:40:57

Like OP I would be absolutey boiling over with rage abouty this. My eldest Ds suffers very badly from hayfever and has been on prescribed medication for a few years. He was initally on Loratidine with if I rmeber righly was Clarityn over the counter. SAfter a couple of years using that it proved inaffective and now he is prescribed somthing that the chemist has to order in , so no way we could buy that over the counter.

Outrageous that hayfever is on that list, children are allowed free prescriptions and something minor like hayfever can cause a great deal of discomfort and distress for a child and NHS refuse to help.

If you really wanted to throw the cat amogst the pigeons then you could reseacrh further :

UNited Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Act.

Too much wine at tea time me thinks ... but still .

akaJamiesMum Sun 24-Jun-07 18:43:45

If your children are under five it might be worth asking the HV - they can prescribe stuff like headlice lotions, emollients, Calpol etc. Just wonder if the ban has been extended to them as well. Might be worth asking your HV.

weebleswobble Sun 24-Jun-07 18:44:02

Happymummy - I too would not ask for some of the items to be put on prescription if it was a one-off, but as Ladyvictoria points out if it is ongoing it can be very expensive. Glucosamine, for example, is expensive.

I pointed out to him that what you may consider cheap may not be affordable to your neighbour.

edam Sun 24-Jun-07 18:49:32

It's the PCT trying to save money. The NHS in Herts is a basket case, basically bankrupt. I had a nightmare when my pharmacist switched my prescription from a branded anti-epileptic drug to a non-branded one. It does actually make a difference and if I hadn't looked carefully, I could have taken the new drug and had a seizure. My GP was horrified and said there was no way the surgery would have altered my scrip. Bloody pharmacist made me go back to the GP to get the OK to dispense the same medicine I've had on repeat prescription for eight years - very distressing and terrifying.

LadyVictoriaOfCake Sun 24-Jun-07 19:22:22

dh has to take 2 sachets of movicol a day due to his other meds.

will this be expanded across the whole herts district? (i am so bad, i dont even know what part we fall under.)

LadyVictoriaOfCake Sun 24-Jun-07 19:23:03

dh just told me we are east lol.

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