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IV Ventolin for s/c infusion and GSK

I have just been informed that Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) is rationing boxes of IV Ventolin to one box per pharmacy per month! they have advised via my pharmacy that I get a box from each pharmacy that has it! What the......!!!!!

I use 6 boxes a month for s/c infusion via a Graseby syringe driver as I am Brittle asthmatic and without this I would not be able to function / breathe.

One box last five days.... am I not allowed to breathe for the rest of the month?

I have the phone number of GSK, tried earlier just before 5PM but got sent round the houses and looped in an everlasting queue so I will 'Enquire' on Monday.

I have used Bricanyl in the past but I get on better with Ventolin. I don't want to be forced back to using Bricanyl. ( Volume and cramps problems etc)

I assume there are no problems at the mo with Astra Zeneca and IV Bricanyl????

Sorry for the rant! Any one else here using Ventolin instead of bricanyl for s/c ???



6 Replies

This sounds rediculous, yet frighteningly believable! How can they justify limiting how much a pharmacy gets, surely they should work on a supply on demand policy.

Also the amount they are 'allowing' each pharmacy to have wouldn't actually be enough for most if any patients for a month?


madness! Absolute madness....

I am having problems getting bricanyl respules for nebuliser atm...even hospital pharmacy having difficulties sourcing them.


That's awful Kate. Have u discussed this stupid initiative with your consultant or nurse, the hospital pharmacy may be able to provide larger quantities for u... Can't believe the mind set of some people in power. Bricanyl had problems in feb and march but thats now resolved, keep us posted On how u get on......


Oh dear Kate, that is not good at all, that is so impractical, surely they can't expect you to go to 5 different pharmacies and what if someone else uses the other pharmacies allocation. Have heard of some anti-psychotic meds beint limited to say 6 pts issues but never Ventolin and never to just one box!.

Dear me, one of the staff in a local dispensary was very dischuffed at only being allowed to order a certain quantity of a bog standard drug - but that was due to it being sold overseas and a particular company. Hope you get sorted, poor you, you could do without the stress bud, take good care, love Lois x


OK! Spoke to GSK customer services, explained the problem and they got someone to phone me back which is a result in itself!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin!

Apparently a few months ago, there was a shortage of generic salbutamol Nebules so there was a big rush on Allen & Hanbury Ventolin nebules (made by GSK) and this created a shortage which had an effect on all other types of ventolin. (I have had no probs with getting Ventolin (tm) nebs)

Therefore there is a limited stock of ventolin solution for IV, how?? and they decided that the stock should be evenly, if thinly spread across the UK, giving everyone a chance to have access to it in the community. Why? Not many people in the community use it! Can't they decifer that this is a specialist drug and not dispenced by many community pharmacist unlike a ventolin Evohaler.

They told me that this is to stop pharmacists getting large stocks in one area say Newcastle but none in say, Colchester.

Now! London 2012 Olympic Tickets! This would work perfectly for you! Take note! (I have no tickets as yet!) Evenly & thinly spread!

However, this does not work for Drugs! GSK, take note of what London 2012 did with the tickets!

So, all community pharmacists will only be able to procure one box of 10 ampoules per month. The pharmacy then has to procure the other five boxes from other pharmacies in the area under their quota scheme. Fortunately there are not many of us on s/c bronchodilators and even less using IV ventolin for s/c! This is easier to sort for chain chemists such as Boots, they just get 5 boxes from the nearest 5 other Boots in the area via probably one phone call to a central distribution centre.

My local independent pharmacy, who can deliver my meds at the mo (Boots don't do home deliveries where I live) however has to phone other pharmacies in the area.

My other option, last resort is to get 6 scripts for 6 different pharmacies! Impractical and I don't want to spend my time organising meds, I do enough of that anyway! I need a life!

However, Hospital pharmacies can order in what they like, though I have to get a script from my consultant and this may only be a one off. That would be a better option than driving or getting someone else to drive around 6 chemists to get my meds.

So, basically it is economics, supply chain issues but the actuall supply & demand doesn't come into account! (I did learn something from economics at university all those years ago!)

It will be resolved.......... but when?


......... now off to curl up in a dark corner!


I don't get loads but have never had a problem getting Ventolin nebules, get between 20 and 40 a month, or 80 this month and no one said anything or even had to wait.

It just doesn't make sense to me that they would do it that way, just bizarre. You almost wonder if they should have just held all supplies and had them accessed by community nurses or something for those that need it until they get back on top of themsleves.

Does sort of back up what someone was saying a few days a go though about it seeming like loads of people were on down turns and needing much more reliver meds in one form or another.


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