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Repeat Prescription Hell!

I have been a sufferer for over 20 years. My trigger is, like many others, dust and pollen. I have recently (for the 2nd time) tried to get a repeat prescription for my ventolin evohaler only to be denied it as I was told I needed a review with the nurse. Not a problem? When they only work 2 days a week and you can't get an early morning appointment. With my job I travel alot. The best appointment time I was offered was 11am - this would mean a full day off work due to the 2 hour commute from home to office. My question is, when these damn inhalers go they go quick are they allowed to decline me a repeat prescription? I now have to suffer 3 days of hell until my appointment. I'm tired, my chest hurts and I'm struggling!

7 Replies

well yes, if it was a long time since your last review. some say six months, others a year. As rule for asthma it is yearly review, and for everything except ventolin I can see why, but ventolin is a rescue medication, and shouldn't in the eyes of most be denied, but unfortunately it can and is, as you have discovered.

I know about the time off work, to see my asthma nurse it's usually a 4-6 week wait, then at a time that means the whole day is wasted. The GP is better, at least i can get an evening appointment with him 2 or 3 days a week, and usually the same day, but he always seems to treat every visit as your bloody nuisance, or at least thats the impression I get, even if it's not true.

I take it you are not on any daily medication, as that is usually on the same script, and just tick the boxes for what you require.


I had Ventolin refused last year the pharmacist said it was rejected written on it not due yet. The receptionist said it might be because I needed a review. I had had Two reviews the pharmacist at the surgery who acts as an asthma nurse thought it was because at the surgeries weekly meeting a Doctor had suggested that inhalers were used wrongly so they began refusing them. I know it does not make sense its the way. In fact the prescription was over due I have concerns that so many people are being refused prescription inhalers and left without there must be something happening in the GPs and Pharmacies that is either being misinterpreted. Its very dangerous not to have your rescuer and regulator these should not be refused ever. All they need to do is supply the medication then invite you for a review they should not hold your medication to ransom. I am contacting the the heart and lung foundation it looks like this becoming an epidemic that could cost lives.

You can complain to GPHC about unsafe practices pharmacies. Send an email to your MP this seems unsafe and it is very upsetting.


I got my GP to tag me as not needing asthma reviews mainly because I am seen by the Royal Brompton, but it might be worth calling your Dr and pleading your case as a temporary measure. Having said that getting a review might be useful who knows they might have some new ideas.



Hi Martin, sorry to hear about repeat probs - however you shouldn't be in a position where you're running out of Ventolin! Ask your asthma nurse for a script for 2 Ventolin Evohalers when you see her. Keep the second one at home as a spare, and then order the next repeat when you've nearly finished the first one.

If you're struggling then it's sensible ask for an urgent GP appointment to request a new script.



If your struggling atm as you stated, then get yourself to A&E, especailly if you can't talk in sentences. Fingers crossed you can get some ventolin asap from your GP too.



Hi MartinG

I would ring your surgery and ask to speak to a gp tomorrow morning, explain the situation ie you have an appointment for a review and ask for a script to be forwarded to your local pharmacy. In extremis, you can go to a pharmacy close to your work, explain that you have asthma, say that you have left your reliever at home, give the name of your gp and they will allow you to buy a reliever.

If you are struggling to breathe you must consult a doctor asap. In future you should always make sure that you have a reliever in hand. speak to your asthma nurse and gp about this. I would go into a hundred percent panic if I did not have a reliever inhaler and spare in case of loss.

The Asthma review is important and worthwhile. In future why not try and make your appointment a few months in advance so that you can get the appointment that you want. I make my regular respiratory consultant appointments 6 months in advance, if I need an emergency one I can always ring and get one. Although I am lucky that the asthma nurse at my local surgery will always see me if I need it.

I hope that you get your inhaler soon




i can completely understand where you are coming from and as someone else has already stated ask to temeparily have 2 inhalers on your script it will help you out for a while, they have done this for me a few times and been resonably happy to do so . although i cant say the same for my regular antibiotics, im going on a holiday with my parents and am due to run out whilst im away , ive asked for them to do the same for my tablets so fingers crossed they will do the same as they did for my inhalers last time i asked.

anyway another suggestion for you to try is ifr you are atending your asthma reviews and still getting through the ammount issued on your script before your next review, make an appointment to see your gp or astham nurse and ask if they can increse the number isssued as this is sometimes possible - they did this for me once or twice when i was diagnosed as a child and also a few years ago

id say its worth a try


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