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Tesco and Dabigatran

My husband has just returned from Tesco pharmacy with the news that he was unable to pick up his prescription as they had none in stock AND that they are no longer intending to stock Dabigatran saying that there has been manufacturing problems and problems of securing suppplies. I know from a few years ago I was told they had to order it because it was so "expensive" that they were not allowed to have it in stock.

I think there is a pattern of large chains being unwilling to stock essential drugs because they are no generic substitutes and NHS criteria and slow payments.

Having experienced this sort of difficulty of obtaining essential drugs with Boots, Tesco and other pharmacies I now use our small local pharmacy who gives an excellent service and who works in close co-operation with our local GPs and had absolutely no problems SO.....

Has anyone else had problems recently with any large pharmacy chain?

Has anyone else had problems obtaining Dabigatran in particular?

Anyone any ideas or knowledge of what is going on?

Best wishes CD.

19 Replies

I have not heard about it with regard to Dabigatran but with regard to other medicines.A friend taking a drug once a day for lung cancer had to wait a few days for the pharmacy to find an alternative...the original drug is a 100% must take daily drug.I have had problems with liothyronine T3 and husband for other drugs.So yes ,this is becoming 'the norm'.All these examples are in the last year.I believe the lung cancer drug was via Boots.


Yes. the Liothyronine is very expensive....c£120 per month for a low dose X 2 daily . so maybe you are right in believing that the pharmacies cannot afford to hold syocks of these drugs.

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I haven't had a problem with obtaining Dabigatran from my GP's pharmacy yet but I do have to give 2 days warning of needing anything. My latest supply of 2.5 bisoprolol are bright blue rather than the usual white. I don't usually have a problem with additives and all is well so far.


We now have more info - the licensed distributor of Pradaxa has been taken over by a company called Phoenix - Tesco do not deal with this distributor but many of the Independants do. We have therefore been referred to a local Independant who will continue to stock Pradaxa.

Hubbie is on the lower dose as he is over 80 - so it may take a little while for stocks of the standard dose to filter through.


Always use my local chemist first one said wouldn't keep on shelf so changed. This one said will always have one box on shelf if I'm going on hol and need more to warn him and he will ensure in stock no probs over three years . Local pharmacist good


Big is not always beautiful - very much profit and corporate policy before everything else.

I use the same small pharmacy who have a personal interest in providing service and who will always try to cover the needs of their customers - for example with emergency supply of usual meds if prescription hasn't come through or sourcing meds from other suppliers and pharmacies.

Hope your hubby can get his meds from an alternative, CD.


I have problems with supply of my breast cancer drug. I often pick up my monthly prescriptions (of which there many items on it) and they only have one pack, I have to wait 4-7 days to get the other pack. I donn't understand why this medication comes in packs of fourteen, but it is a drug that you are on for 5 years, so why not as with all others make packs of 28- saves on packaging.



Yes, quite often in fact with Boots with my Disopyramide script, they often have to order it in, which they do however I know deal with Prescriptions at Home (Prescriptions For You) and have had no problem.


I get my prescriptions from my local pharmacy, and they have to order in my rivaroxaban.


I think this may be a reflection on the shortage of cash in the NHS.

My doctors surgery has a pharmacy but they don't keep a lot of drugs in stock, you have to go elsewhere or wait for a delivery (often later that day) .

When I was prescribed Nebivolol the doctors didn't have any neither did the small local Boots so I telephoned around,two more didn't have any and I eventually found some in the large Boots.

I was told by one pharmacist that it was too expensive for all pharmacies to stock every available drug but they can usually be obtained quite quickly.


No I use a smaller pharmacy. Also I live in New Zealand.




I think my first thoughts are why are you using a Tesco pharmacy ? If we don't support the small local pharmacies who actually take an interest in our health and we can ask questions of, then they will close and then we will be stuck with is the impersonal disinterest of Boots et al.


I agree - I don't - but Hubbie for some unfathommable reason didn't. But he's going to have to go to Roland's now which is owned by Phoenix - or change his anti-coagulant.


Sorry, but Tesco pharmacy for me is both local AND outstanding. It probably depends on the pharmacists, but mine goes way beyond what would be expected, stepping in when Boots had significant issues with my daughter's life saving medication. Boots consistently lie to their customers, stating drugs are no longer available, and you need to go back to your consultant to get it changed....Rant mode now off!

....and they still provide me with Dabigatran


Don't apologise - you use who you want to.

I'm just giving information - Phoenix are the distributors for Pradaxa - Tesco don't deal with Phoenix, my husband was told. Therefore no Pradaxa. Simples.

They did ring around the town however, to find him Pradaxa to pick up that day and phoned his GP to get the script amended - excellent service - and they rang back when they had sourced it - at Rowlands - a chain owned by Phoenix.

My original post was posed as a question. I was looking to find our if this was a pattern or if this experience was a one off A in which case what was going on.

I would be grateful if you would PM me if you have similar in the future.

I also had big problems with Boots so completely agree with you there but I transferred to Boots BECAUSE Tesco weren't stocking one of my meds either - without which I and other Myasthenics cannot function. that was because there was a halt in production in U.K. So 'parallel substitutes' had to be imported but neither Tesco nor Boots would stock them - hence change to local - who gives me a much better service - because he can be more flexible, more available to talk to and consistent as I see the same person.

The whole situation was a national crisis which was only resolved when the CEO of our charity gained access to cabinet minister and rules were relaxed so GPs could prescribe the Trademarked version which costs £8 more a prescription and/or the pharmacist could supply the Tradmarked version as a substitute and be payed.

I only had one experience with Boots who just kept telling me it would be tomorrow. In the end - because I hadn't had my meds for 24 hours and I was told I would have to wait in line when I couldn't even stand, I got very angry and upset. A very kind and observant pharmacist - a locum - intervened and found me a chair and made the very unhelpful assistant go to the stockroom upstairs and find some - guess what they did have them!

He was most informative about the way Boots operate their supply chain and advised me to find a local pharmacy if I wanted security of supply as they deal with a bigger range of wholesalers.

Hope that clarifies.


I've had trouble getting dabigatran from Superdrug and was told it was out of stock and there would be a delay as it was difficult to get hold of. I was surprised at this, but when I asked they said that this often happens nowadays with quite a lot of drugs and they're used to running out and having trouble getting hold of things.


I never use large pharmacy chains - always go to my friendly independent pharmacist, on the basis "use it or lose it." I have never had a problem with Pradaxa; once only, in the early days, I had to wait a couple of days for it to arrive.

I'm not sure I agree with supermarkets having pharmacies anyway. But that is me showing my prejudice!

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Hi , I haven't had a problem obtaining Eliquis( apixaban) but a few months ago LLoyds pharmacy had trouble obtaining Zapain ( co-codamol.) They had plenty of generic co-codamol on the shelf, but as my GP had written Zapain on the prescription they couldn't give me anything else. Zapain is more expensive than generic co-codamol! Pharmacist joked that my GP must like me to have prescribed it. I had my repeat prescription changed to just 'Co-codamol' to avoid any future problems.


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