Medicine shortage

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
30 replies 2.8K views
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  • http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/Forprofessionals/Questionsandanswers/Anti-epilepticdrugs

    question one on that page shows you're not the only one with a problem..... with a week to go, i'd hope the PCT/GP would search some for you from a wide radius. have you done the yellow pages option of every pharmacy in a 20-odd mile radius? or have you tried an online pharmacy? (i googled it and this came up, so there is a supply somewhere - http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/tegretol-liquid-100mg5ml-300ml_4_16856.html). i don't know which online pharmacies are legitimate but boots have an online service. i don't know how fast they delivery (assuming it's in stock) but somewhere like that should have better stock than any single pharmacy.
    :happyhear
  • Tegretol tablets, chewtabs, liquid and suppositories all contain the active ingredient carbamazepine.

    Is it possible to substitute the liquid for tablets for a few days if you run out to prevent a sudden stop in taking it?

    I've taken carbamazepine tablets in the past, always in stock at pharmacies, and complete with horrendous side effects.
  • NickiNicki Forumite
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    sophlowe45 wrote: »
    Is it possible to substitute the liquid for tablets for a few days if you run out to prevent a sudden stop in taking it?

    No unfortunately not. She is very seriously disabled and can only take the liquid. It did in fact take 3 weeks and significant input from occupational therapists, psychologists, GOSH and paediatricians before she learned how to take the medicine properly.
  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse
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    Humphrey10 wrote: »
    Try another pharmacy - I often find large Boots' pharmacies have things in stock that smaller ones don't.
    Any pharmacist will understand the implications of stopping treatment w/o medical supervision and as indicated previously will be trying hard to obtain the product from reliable sources within the supply chain, including other pharmacies. It's not appropriate for the patient to become involved in this.
    sophlowe45 wrote: »
    Tegretol tablets, chewtabs, liquid and suppositories all contain the active ingredient carbamazepine.
    No, no, no! Different dosage forms for this product have different bioavailabilities, for most treatments this is not the case but chopping and changing for Tegretol is not recommended.
    Nicki wrote: »
    Would you advise being patient for a few more days, or trying to get an urgent appointment with the consultant? It would need to be private, as the NHS does not work that quickly (roll eyes smiley needed) but we would rather do this, than go back to months of uncontrolled seizures and lengthy stays in hospital.
    No, chase the pharmacy today so they are aware of the urgency of the situation (many people stockpile meds so it's important that they know that you have no other supply), if it doesn't look likely that it is going to appear then they need to go to Novartis directly. It looks like the supply chain problem is being remedied though.

    Don't even think about going private - your NHS consultant will be aware of the problem and want to make sure your DD is being looked after. Explain the problem to your GP, who can access the consultant for specialist advice around an alternative.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
  • NickiNicki Forumite
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    Ive just phoned the private hospital where DD has been treated previously. They have none in stock either and have checked with the manufacturer who say they have a production issue and will not be able to resume production for the indefinite future :eek: So looks like this is going to be an ongoing problem. I've left a message on the consultant's mobile phone. She is good at responding to these usually, and she can choose whether to treat it as a private or an NHS issue as far as I am concerned - I just want a solution as soon as I can!
  • peachypricepeachyprice Forumite
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    I hope you find some soon.

    Howabout other EU countries if it gets really desperate?
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • NickiNicki Forumite
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    Pharmacist has found one bottle of the stuff, which is like liquid gold at the moment it seems, which is being couriered to him tomorrow.

    I spoke to the consultant and then to the GP. The GP has written a script for 2 months supply of it, which the pharmacist will start trying to source from tomorrow, so that hopefully by the time we need the next bottle, he will have found some more and be stockpiling them for us. The manufacturers have suspended production due to an unspecified problem and there is no date for when they will restart. Supplies everywhere are really low :(

    Consultant has said that if we can't get the liquid, we can try the dispersible tablet form. This isn't ideal as we will struggle to get DD to take them in this form. Her learning difficulties are too severe to explain to her the change and she hates taking medication in any form. It was a long painful journey to get her to tolerate taking the liquid daily. But at least, we have a fallback option which is still in production which is better than no medication at all.

    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and advice, particularly Vfm4
  • rev_henryrev_henry Forumite
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    This is happening more and more with various branded medicines. Drug companies will tell you the problem is down to 'naughty' pharmacies exporting their stocks to other EU countries where the price is higher, instead of giving it to UK patients. Drug company then has a hissy fit and starts putting pharmacies on quotas for how many they can have, and there aren't enough to go around, so Pharmacists have to waste time begging suppliers for one bottle of tegretol etc. There are calls for this practice of exporting to be made illegal - current guidance kinda says its unethical but not illegal iirc.

    My personal take on it is that drug companies are being greedy by having differential pricing across the EU, which is supposed to be a common market after all, and I don't see why they can't simply make more of the stuff. They won't though because then more will be exported which will damage their profits.

    Doesn't really help you, sorry, but explains the background to it a bit. You COULD try an online Pharmacy?
  • edited 30 November 2011 at 9:33PM
    gwen80gwen80 Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2011 at 9:33PM
    In response to the post above, please be very careful buying any medication on the internet. Medication bought on the internet is significantly more likely to be counterfeit.

    Best of luck with it all

    Gwen

    ETA: In addition to rev_henrys point about the exportation of product, many pharmaceutical companies are looking at how they can be more efficient and streamline their operations. This means that where a manufacturer may have had a back up manufacturing line for a product previously, they may not any more.
    Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending
  • rev_henryrev_henry Forumite
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    gwen80 wrote: »
    In response to the post above, please be very careful buying any medication on the internet. Medication bought on the internet is significantly more likely to be counterfeit.

    Best of luck with it all

    Gwen
    Oh yes of course, a proper GPhC registered Pharmacy such as Lloyds, not some dodgy foreign place selling chinese counterfeits without a prescription!
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