Dr refusing Ventolin: My GP refuses to... - Asthma UK communi...

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Dr refusing Ventolin

Teend4 profile image

My GP refuses to give me Ventolin and Seretide due (as he puts is) to the CCG rules. I am allowed to take Salamol and Sirdupla as these are recommended by the CCG. However, Salamol is horrible, leaves a nasty taste, makes my throat sore and dry. GP still refuses me Ventolin. I now have to see the Asthma nurse (who doesn't know me) in order to make sure I am taking my inhalers properly before he will consider writing to the CCG on my behalf. I feel GP is being rude and bullying. He knows I have taken Ventolin for 20 years without any major problems but he still insists on Salamol. He also knows my mother died of an asthma attack when I was 16, so I don't take this switch lightly.

Can anyone tell me what I can do about getting my Ventolin back?

Thanks in advance.

21 Replies

It's a recommendation from the ccg to save the nhs money salamol is the cheaper version of ventolin (salbutamol being the same ingredient in both)

Sirdupla being the same for serrtide... I'd just argue the tossand get them to prescribe it by name so you don't get the generic (which is also recommended by whoever writes the prescribing guidelines)

Teend4 profile image
Teend4 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

That's the problem...he won't prescribe Ventolin because he blames the CCG. I'm writing to the CCG to get that confirmed. Then I will do battle :)

Chip_y2kuk profile image
Chip_y2kuk in reply to Teend4

Yeah they blame anyone they can it's quite naughty really the nhs wants to save money (which I totally understand) however it must be more costly for people to be in and out of the gp's surgery than it is to prescribe the original medicine... the only comparisons I've seen are medicine against medicine (which is ideal world)

I had been on Ventolin all my life then one time about 2 years ago I got a generic in its place. It totally didn't work me and I said so. I was told it's cheaper hence the switch. But it didn't work and in fact made things worse and I was put back on to Ventolin with no problems. (Though I'm not getting Ventolin anymore having been changed onto Fostair a few weeks ago)

Different generics also have different gas or whatever it's called that dispenses the medication.

Hi this is awful. I once had my symbicort changed to duoresp which is a generic version and a lot cheaper. I just couldn't get on with it as it made me cough so rang the doctor and told him and he changed it without any argument back to symbicort. x

Teend profile image
Teend in reply to hypercat54

Glad you had a good result in the end. Don't think I'm going to get what I want without a battle. This GP thinks he is God almighty and hated it when I argued back with him on the phone.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Teend

Change your GP? I would. x

stan_25 profile image
stan_25 in reply to hypercat54

I have the same problem with Ventolin. I changed my GP but it made no difference. Battle continues.


This chart show the costs of inhalers, Ventolin is the cheapest!!!!

That’s crazy! Apparently doctors get approached by pharmaceutical companies to promote their products over those from rival companies and that’s why they’ll switch from pushing one medication to another. I have no evidence to back this up though! Just what I was told once by a health worker. But it could explain sudden changes to other medications.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to HungryHufflepuff

These are generic forms though so won't be down to the pharma company. Their patents have expired on these drugs so other companies are allowed to make their own versions, but with different propellants like you said. This will be an NHS cost thing.

As Hypercat says though Teend4 have you tried seeing a different GP? This one seems not the best in many ways As someone else suggested it may also be down to the pharmacy. I am prescribed just salbutamol ie not Ventolin specifically and mostly still get Ventolin from pharmacy.

I have salamol and ventolin like you I prefer ventolin I find if I take my prescription to doctors pharmacy I get salamol but if I take it to Asda pharmacy I get ventolin so get my prescriptions from Asda now. Can you not change doctors for them being rude hope u get sorted

Thanks. I'm going to visit the asthma nurse and see what they say. Then decide my plan of action after that. If it not preacribing Ventolin is down to the CCG, I'll have to petition them not the Drs. We shall see.

I live in NZ. Our govt changed to Salamol also because it was cheaper. It was found to have alcohol in it and people were testing positive when being breath tested. It was also found to be nowhere near as effective as Ventolin. You can now get Ventolin if preferred but there is an additional charge of $4.00 per puffer. Well worth the extra few dollars as far as I am concerned but not so good for those struggling financially.

Is it really cheaper if you end up in A & E due to an asthma attack ? Put it in writing, letter to GP and if necessary change Drs. It is stressful enough coping with asthma without having to argue the toss every time you need your ventolin. Ventolin is fast acting which is why its a life saver. I have been down this road too and had to fight hard. Its been said before on this forum, that everyone is different, when you find a regime that works for you fight to keep it. Hope you win this battle. (as if any of us needed this)

This is the exact problem I had with my doctor and these meds are cheaper options and let him know that you know this and you will be bullied into taking medicine that will not help you , is there other docs in your surgery if so go to one of them that is how I got my Ventolin back if not argue the points out with him or say you will go else where for a second opinions .I hope you keep well il hear how you get on.


Why is it some doctors are so poor at listening to patients!!! We are fortunate in having several doctors at our surgery so I can choose who I see.

I checked the NICE guidlines which are national clinical guidelines for doctors. Salbutamol generic inhaler has a section and ventolin is listed under it.


If you scroll down you will see that ventolin is recommended for acute brochospasm, prophylaxis of allergen or exercise-induced bronchospasm and for persistent symptoms.

If you want more information you can type in CCG and the area you live in to search (or CCG NHS information) you will find information for patients and a search box where you can find information about some of their guidance including asthma. Plus a contact us tab.

The CCG asthma guidelines in my area are asking GPs to review techniques and medication and make sure patients have an up to date Action Plan. You could ask your CCG directly (under Freedom of Information) about their recommendations treatment of asthma and medications such as ventolin or perhaps try to talk to the Asthma Nurse about it. She will probably be able to give you more time and to listen than the doctor did!

Hope it all works out for you.

I was changed from seretide to fostair but my asthma nurse told me it was the specialists that were wanting people to be put on it although it was probably down to cost as a dr friend had already told me that seretide was one of the most expensive inhalers out there .Its also strange that since I’ve been on fostair my asthma worsened I am now on spiriva and montelukast so it might be false economy

I tried Salamol and it made me retch - luckily I have a great GP Practice which support me and recognise I know my asthma well. I was taken off Seretide as its too high in Steroid and now take Symbicort. Have also been taking Singular/Monteluk for some years and would recommend you try that as it made a huge improvement.

I don't get on with Salamol, had same symptoms as you. I work with a pharmacist and they told me it was do with the particle size of the drug! Stand your ground and discuss it with your asthma nurse / Dr!

I've had asthma since 1974 when I was 29 yrs old, (now 73) I was switched from Seretide 400/12 to Duoresp 320/9. It's a powder which is breath activated. I'm supposed to wash my mouth out with water after each dose but rarely do. I find DuoResp much more effective than was Seretide , which contains a propellant. I also have been switched to Salamol, which I only need to use once or twice a week due to the increased efficiency of DuoResp. When I was on Seretide I was taking both Ventolin and later Salamol much more frequently. I wonder if there's any research on the effect of propellants on asthma.

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