Meds post-'no-deal'?: Is anyone else... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Meds post-'no-deal'?

Is anyone else here concerned about medication refills in the last days before 31st October (assuming we actually do leave) and the first weeks after in case there are the predicted shortages? I'm not trying to stir up a discussion regarding leave/remain here, nor am I looking for reassurances or admonitions to not give into panic and fear-mongering - I'm keeping my opinion to myself, and only asking if I'm the only 'heartie' worrying there might be shortages, and how others here are planning to cope in case the shortages or supply disruptions really do happen.

I'm on Bisoprolol 1.25mg once a day (great results, no side effects), plus GTN spray (NitroLingual 400 which I very rarely use owing to 'worse than the angina' side effects). My recurring prescription gets me two 28dy packets of the Bisoprolol and one bottle of the GTN (which I've not needed since the first one in late April) and I'm due to pick-up the next renewal the 10th of September. That will take me through the rest of September and October.

When I drop off the refill slip (on the 6th of September) I'm seriously considering ticking the GTN box as well as the beta blocker one, and asking the chemist about their plan in case of supply disruptions.

What else can we do?

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Do you remember the year 2000 computer bug? Fill up your bath because there will be no water and stock up on baked beans because food deliveries will be disrupted? Lots of hype and in the end nothing really happened. Go for a second GTN spray as they last up to two years and you should have a spare - I have one I keep in the car (spare) and one I have with me always in my handbag.

Like you I will run out in October. Economically, there are few firms who will stop supplying the market for their goods as they have profits to make - and I think most people do not realise it is a two way trade. after Brexit:

"(But ) the impact on medical supplies will also be felt beyond Britain. About 45 million packs of medicines are shipped from Britain to the rest of the bloc every month, in trade worth nearly 12 billion pounds in 2016, according to a British parliament report. "

Supposedly the government has contingency plans and if that;s the case it will be months after October that shortages may happen..... but don;t hold your breath..... as stress isn;t good for us put off worrying for a few months..... I am.

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Lol, holding my breath is such a no for me - doing so causes angina pain within seconds so I don't do that if possible.

Funny you mention Y2K - several colleagues spent weeks making sure our databases weren't wiped out when the clocks ticked over. They were in the server rooms all day 31st December 1999 and into the next day making sure everything was up and running. (and I did have a few extra tins in the store cupboard - but at the time I lived along the US Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Central so preparedness was my norm).

For some reason all this reminds me of that Death on the Tyne scene where the ladies are boarding and the porter asks 'Are you bringing any drugs on board?' - 'Only the ones keeping me alive.' responds one of the group and that reply keeps running through my mind :) I laugh but then I think perhaps I should ask the chemist about it.

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The reason the Y2K predictions never came to fruition is down to the several years of preparation that went into it to prevent the worst case scenario.

We are woefully unprepared for a no-deal crash out.

bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l5300

Doesn’t make good reading.

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Not ‘good reading’, but very authoritative reading. Thanks Sillyfroggy, for the link.

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I know several programmers personally who spent a lot of time trawling through code to make sure there wouldn't be any problems

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I do remember in March 2000 that the Dot Com Boom went bust and Millions were lost.

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I remember that - my closest friend's husband was completely wiped out by that 'bust'. I don't think he ever recovered from the shock and I think it contributed to his death too young in his late 40s (2004) from lung cancer he refused to be treated for.

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I had Bought London Bridge Software when they came to the market at about £2.60

They quickly went up and also had a rights issue that I took. When they got to around £32.00 I sold some to more than cover my outlay. They then went up over £80 and their founder Gordon Elliott who was not allowed to sell any of his share for some years was said to the richest man in Britain. Even BT were around £15.00 then and another ( who made flat loudspeakers ) I had bought at 8p and kept on adding to as they went up had risen to over £30.00 but had sold some at £16.

I had for weeks been thinking of cashing in but instead went to Barbados for two weeks holiday and thought I wait until I get back. By then LBS were down to about £8 and the flat speakers along with BT were even worse. LBS were later taken over The flat speakers more or less went out of business. They are very good and I've still got a pair.

Strange the week before we went away my BP was found to be 210/110 and If they had not brought it down with medications they would not have wanted me to fly.

Now I've doing very well with Hilton Foods and Greggs and Shoe Zone until Friday's warnings.

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Oh god... I can see it now instead of people driving over to get booze and fags it will driving over to get medication 🥴

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If you can get through the stacked lorries queueing due to all the permits that will be required

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I do think there will be some supply-line disruption no matter how amicably the leaving is done - with or without a fair deal, as the dust settles I do think some things are going to either rise in price or become quite hard to come by, but only until the dust settles (I hope).

I do have a somewhat full store cupboard of things my husband and I feel to be potential shortage food items but in all honesty most of what we eat and use we grow or buy from local and UK producers, so for us the only real concern is medication - and I'm the only one in the house on any meds.

Thank-you for the link above, I made it as far as 'Box One' before I had to bookmark and take a few deep breaths.

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Also without expressing an opinion about the politics, I think it is clear that there will be ‘some’ problems, simply because of paperwork changes, if nothing else.

My meds are on an online ordering system, which allows me to reorder my months supply after two weeks. I normally order at the end of week three, but I’ll order bang on the two weeks for a couple of months, which will gain me a few weeks extra supply in hand. Not over the top, just enough so that I’m covered if things need chasing a bit more than usual. To stock pile a lot would unfair to everyone else.

On the other hand, I’m not sure which of my meds are critical. I know a week without the statin is probably of little consequence (my GP calls it a ten year drug), I think Ticagrelol is critical, and having GTN pretty important. But less clear of the rest.

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I'm lucky in that I am only on the two prescribed meds and the only one I'd call critical is the beta blocker. I think, after reading your reply, I'll call in Monday to the chemist and ask her if I can top up by re-ordering a little sooner a few times. I already get a 50+day supply so if I can re-order a wee bit sooner than the usual ten days before supply runs out, that should get me through the first few months. Thank-you!

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Yes, I'm ordering mine early for the next couple of months.

There are already shortages of HRT and some oral contraceptives - I just don't trust a word any politician says any more!

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Companies have been stocking up so there should be no immediate problems. There was a News item showing specially rented warehouse space bursting with all sorts of goods. With a bit of luck there will be massive sales of surplus stock :-)

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I leave the worry about meds post Brexit to the medics. I don’t need any more stress in my life. The best thing about being in hospital was the lack of news about Brexit. I remember the world supposedly coming to an end on year 2000 and guess what we’re all still here. However all the “agencies” and software companies seem to have done very well financially because of all the panic and preparations. I’m sure we’ll all manage.

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I've got to the point where I avoid the news for the most part - I tune to the 24hr channel and with it on mute I scan the scrolling ticker and then switch away. All the best to you in hospital - hope you're home soon and then you can do a quick ticker scan to avoid Brexit turmoil the way I do:)

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I avoid all news now, usually when i get home after a hard day at the office I have to listen to the party political broadcast of behalf of the husbands party!! That's more than enough for me 😂

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With some friends we formed the Grumpy Party years ago. One of our policies is that you cannot become a minister of something you know nothing about which is something the main parties do not practice! For some reason they decided I should be Minister of Health?

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You get my vote Michael. When we had a vote recently (cant even remember what we were voting for but do feel very strongly bout voting, suffragettes etc..girl power) anyway, was in my little booth, pencil in hand and husband kept popping in to tell me who to vote for..just in case I hadn't listened to him on the way there!! 😂

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I second Lezzers opinion on voting!!!

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I've unsubscribed to my Lib Dem MP's weekly E-Mail of DOOM!

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Based on no evidence my hunch is that supplies have been stock-piled. Up until the first Brexit deadline the maker of my meds chopped and changed every month (I assume that’s to get the best deal). Since then I’ve had the same suppliers with tabs in the same boxes. I’ve decided not to worry about this one 😄.

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I must admit the thought has crossed my mind.I've just restocked one of my meds and the other has a way to go but I would be screwed if they ran out.

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Our surgery restricts you to your next due date for repeat prescriptions.

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Yes so does mine but I changed doses so my two meds come in at different times you see.

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In reply to both you and Seasider, my surgery does the same restricting, ordinarily we must wait until ten days before the script runs out before requesting the refill. But in these special circumstances I wonder if a check with the surgery might be a good idea? Frankly I think I could make it a few weeks/perhaps a month or two without my very low dose Bisoprolol (but I'd not enjoy it, the beta blocker has been life-changing for me), but if my GP has no objection and can lift the restriction I'll be a more reassured heartie!

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I can see your point.

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It is complete propoganda, they can and will fly anything in needed from anywhere in the world to keep stocks up. The lying BBC and Co said we would have fuel shortages too, well last time I looked we didn't import much crude oil from the EU and we have our own refineries....and then the final lie, a food shortage. There are 100+ countries outside the EU clambering to sell us their food. I am so sick and tired the likes of the trusted BBC telling lies....about everything.

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The Biased Broadcasting Company! Don't get me started. I can quite easily turn in to Grumpy (not so old) Woman when that Corporation is mentioned!

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C4 is just as bad and I never watch Sky News either.

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I look at the ticker scroll (SkyNews) with the sound muted - when the scroll repeats, I switch back to the Drama Channel :)

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The news makes a Drama out of a Crisis?

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:)

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Who was it with the catch phrase "It's being so cheerful that keeps me going " Probably Mona Lott in ITMA

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I agree, and for the most part my husband and I buy local or grow our own any road. And I do think the US and other countries will happily make up any shortages - but even emergency supply lines take a wee bit of time to set-up and get running, so I do wonder about medications.

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If we have to buy medicines from the USA they will be MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE and the NHS will not be able to pay.

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Good point, thank-you.

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I will check the country of origin on the pack and maybe order ahead of anything from EU but most I think come from the UK anyway. If we all stockpile there will be shortages!

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I've looked (with a magnifying glass) at my carton and the insert leaflets and can't find anything saying where my Bisoprolol is made. I'll give the leaflet another go, though, the print is so small I may have missed something even with the magnifying glass.

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It looks as if the manufacturers name and location is at the end of the information on the leaflet. So far I have Edoxaban from Germany and Atorvastatin from Spain!

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Thank-you for the location tip - I went straight to it (on the end of the leaflet) and now I am definitely going to speak with the chemist first thing tomorrow - my Bisoprolol 1.25mg is made in either: Germany, RoI, Slovenia, or Poland. Thank-you again for the tip!

Someone up-thread mentioned not wanting to cause shortages by stockpiling, and I agree with that to a greater than lesser degree. But I want to have at least another 2 refills now I've seen where my meds come from (so to last me through the New Year) - not sure if even every patient on recurring medications does that it would cause a shortage, but I am sure supply-line disruptions would at the least slow things down too much for comfort.

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My hubby's Bisoprolol is made by a Swiss Multinational company called Sandoz (a Novartis company)!!!! Hey ho! xx

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My carton says Sandox but the leaflet says 'manufactured in: Germany, RoI, Slovenia, or Poland'. I'm definitely speaking with the chemist tomorrow.

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Many of mine say made in the uk. I suspect they are pill manufacturers and packagers, i don't know where the ingredients come from

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Despite Gunsmojes original post saying its not a leave /remain discussion thats what youve all turned it into. My last word is there was a vote and leave one. I joined this forum as it was apolitical. No point staying as this is no longer the case.

I'm now outta here

I wish you all well

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I'm sorry that you have decided to leave the forum. Most posts don't become political & it would be a shame to leave because of one post. The forum is a great place, for advice & help and the occasional laugh. I hope you'll reconsider, but whatever you decide I wish you well & good health.

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I too am sorry you feel this way - I made a point of saying I didn't want a political discussion, I needed a medications discussion, and really I don't think this discussion has gone at all political.

We have a situation, admittedly a political one owing to the political turmoil the Leave vote implementation has caused but the knock-on has been real concerns about real things (yes, well, not food, I think most can agree on that) - it is my understanding quite a lot of medications for chronic health conditions do come from the EU, or components of those meds even if the actual medication is made here in the UK.

So I do think this is a valid, timely discussion, and I am pleased politics hasn't really come into this.

Please stay, there is so much good here (not necessarily this particular discussion) for people with or caring for someone with a heart condition.

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Hey Fredbeare. Please don't leave the forum because of one post that you feel has become political. The OP from Sunnie was a valid question, even though my proposed answer to it was going to be "No".

I belong to a barn owl forum where we discuss everything from how many eggs that owl is going to lay, to the price of teabags in Sainsburys. I'm aware that my political views aren't the same as everyone else's, so if someone makes a political point that I disagree with, I simply ignore it, and we all stay friendly.

On here, we're all linked by our broken hearts, and that will always be the basis of our incredibly useful posts, even if we sometimes stray off the path in the discussions.

KFC & gin, anyone?

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Gin yep definitely, KFC 🤮

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Wot, the vegan chicken or the vegan Fish 'n' Chips? 🐔 🐠 🍟 🍸

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The 🐔 one

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Maybe Pizer will sponsor a free statin with every McD or KFC in the event of a shortage!

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Ha, please don't tell me you eat McD!

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Only very occasionally since the BSE crisis the nineties. And the chicken heads and feet in nuggets did not inspire confidence!

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Nooooo, really!! 🤮

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And now you know why I made myself learn to cook:)

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Urgh sorry couldn't watch the video, the picture was enough! 🤮

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I have been using a Southern Fried Chicken recipe for decades I picked up whilst living in the US Deep South that makes KFC a definite yuck. But the gin sounds intriguing - someone on a different discussion mentioned gin and prosecco cocktails. I Googled, and those sound rather nice to accompany any nibbles or meal!

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Care to share the recipe? I love the KFC taste but can't do chicken skin 🤮

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It's shockingly simple:

INGREDIENTS:

*Huge mixing bowl (or large zip grip bag if you're still using plastics)

*2 cups self-raising flour (my husband is coeliac so I use gluten free self-raising)

*1 quarter cup dry seasoning (or more depending on taste preferences, and I've got my husband hooked on a low-sodium Cajun mix I hacked from a horribly high-sodium brand called Tony Cachere's Cajun-Creole seasoning; the KFC secret seasoning tastes much the same as my hack)

*At least six boneless-skinless chicken filets (I get mine from the local butcher but in a pinch I've cut and skinned whole chickens or parts from the supermarket)

*Large electric skillet with lid OR hob skillet with lid

*Enough olive oil to bring depth in skillet to at least 1in (more if you like 'greasy chicken' - some do, I've found to my shock).

*Long handled tongs (for turning chicken safely during frying).

*Several paper kitchen towels on a plate or platter (for draining excess oil from cooked chicken).

INSTRUCTIONS:

*Put the flour in bowl or bag, add the seasoning.

*Either shake the bag vigorously or use a wisk in the bowl to mix the seasoning through the flour.

*Pre-heat the skillet - set on high then lower to medium high during cooking.

*Drop all the filets (or parts) into the flour and seasoning mix, roll the chicken around in the mix until entire lot are well coated.

*Carefully drop the coated chicken into the hot skillet and cover.

*Turn the chicken every ten minutes to ensure even frying and fully cooked meat.

Serve with mash and sweet corn for an authentic Southern Fried Chicken meal, but here's where I admit my husband likes my (also an American recipe - I lived there a long time :) ) sweet-sour beetroot as a side rather than the sweet corn!

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Interesting 😀. As per previous discussion, I’m coeliac so KFC is no go. Could probably substitute the flour in this.

However, a friend put me on to Lemon Pepper- common in the states, but not here. Heavy sprinkling of this on to a skinless chicken breast, 25 mins in a moderate oven, Sorted! It’s not K or F, but it’s a pretty good C, and serves the same purpose. 😋 Also works on salmon and other fish.

Politics? What politics?

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Ooooh ooooh - you CAN buy lemon pepper here! I get ours from the Schwartz UK site (reasonably priced as is delivery - am I allowed to say that here? :) I've also bought it in Sainsbury and sometimes in ASDA) My husband thinks I'm 5* Michelin worthy with my Lemon Pepper baked chicken - my secret is I put the lemon pepper in the low-sodium gravy, pour the gravy over the chicken filets (my butcher has me trained, he refuses to call them chicken breasts and he's so good I'm not arguing!), along with quartered baby potatoes, bake for 45min or so covered then another ten uncovered.

For lemon pepper fish, I make a foil parcel with fresh lemon slices under the fish then sprinkle a fair amount onto the fish, bake it at 220c for a half hour. He loves that dish almost as much as he loves my fried chicken.

I use Doves Farm gluten free flours (and most of their other gf flours and mixes), I buy it online as it's not always stocked in the supermarket. I find the best results using it just as I would glutenated flours - but I've noticed I do sometimes need to add a bit more flour to recipes if I'm using one of their mixes. I use the flour (with seasoning) to dredge all sorts - fish, chicken, gf sausage...

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Thank you for the recipes, I've only just seen them as strangely they didn't come up on my news feed! I do have some of the doves farm gluten free in the cupboard as I've recently made a loaf for someone who is gluten intolerant, so I've got at least 3 of the ingredients, flour, chicken and oil. I'll let you know if I successfully make it! Would post pics, but that's way beyond me 😁

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I only use the gluten free flour owing to my husband's coeliac, the recipe works with regular flour also - I'd never used gf flours until my husband was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2014.

The spice hack is: salt, black pepper, onion, garlic, cayenne, hot chilli, and paprika powders, amounts in descending order as listed to taste and lessened as needed for low-sodium if salt is restricted. I use it so often I mix it in large batches and keep it in a clip Kilner.

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Thank you. Won't be able to use the low sodium as its usually high in potassium and high potassium is an issue with my husband. We're used to no salt food though so will probably increase one of the other ingredients as a substitute, which one would you suggest?

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No salt at all? In that case just completely eliminate it from the mix - if you're already used to no-salt, you won't miss the salt in the seasoning mix.

The published Tony Cachere recipe calls for a truly shocking amount (something like a full cup, iirc) and I cut that down to three tablespoons. I'll never forget how shocked I was to discover some seasoning brands 'plump' their onion and garlic powders with salt, but all it took to find a no-sodium added one was reading labels until I got there in the end :)

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Thank you, we haven't used salt in cooking for over 20 years so done miss it now. Will go with your suggestion, I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks for the recipes & advice

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Ooh, hello, I like the sound of the sweet and sour beetroot. May I also have the recipe for that?

Good health to you all,

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And good heath to you Roamie, I like the sound of the sweet & sour beetroot too. Not sure I'll be able to interest husband in it though, I have enough trouble trying to get the usual steamed vegs into him.

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Haha, I can't interest mine in fruit..he draws the line at bananas and grapes or open air home grown strawberries! R

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I used to have the same problem with my husband with broccoli and sweet corn being his two least wanted veg (meaning he hated both). He's more interested in sweet corn if I mix it in with the spag bol sauce (old family recipe) but now he loves broccoli (funny what a squeeze of fresh lemon can do for hated veg).

Scroll to my reply to Roamie for the sweet-sour beetroot recipe that has made a veg lover of my husband :)

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Thank you. Your story reminded me of my mother in law when she came to stay. I'd just chopped onions and thrown them into the meal and the moment I did that she said I don't eat onions!! (might have told me when I'd been chopping them up & crying!) had to do a panic meal just for her. The next day, the same again but with mushrooms!! By the end of the week I'd had enough, just threw onions into the meal and didn't tell. For the first time ever she said 'that was a lovely meal, I really enjoyed it"!😂

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I got the recipe from a 1980s edition of the US Good Housekeeping cookbook; it's called 'Harvard Beets', not sure why unless it's something the cafeteria chefs came up with at Harvard to get more veg into veg avoiding uni students:

Ingredients:

*2x16oz tinned or bottled beets

*1/3 cup white vinegar

*1/4 cup sugar

*1 tablespoon cornstarch

*1/2 teaspoon salt (ok to omit, I do and the taste is the same with or without)

*1 tablespoon butter

Instructions:

*20min before serving

*Drain beets reserving 1/2 cup liquid

*in 2qt saucepan, mix vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and reserved liquid

*Add butter once the sugar, etc, is dissolved

*Over medium heat, bring to boil then add beets and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and beets pierce easily with fork or toothpick

This usually makes a true veg believer out of all but the most fussy.

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Wonderful, I look forward to trying it. R

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Can u eat an owls egg then ?

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Leave the owl's eggs alone :)

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Oh

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You must be hungry at the moment! :)

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Nah, I was just wondering bcoz it’s handy to know these things for survival purposes. I wouldn’t eat one for fun but I would if i was stuck on owl 🦉 Island 🌴 alone.

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OK, just remember that poaching is better for your heart than frying...

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😂

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Hi Fredbeare, I don’t read any political comments in this, just a comment on the media’s bias and scaremongering.

There is a lot of sound, valuable advice and support available here. Just ignore anything that annoys you.

Best wishes

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Like me you were a leaver but I'll remain here !

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Well, I don’t think the big pharma will not want to sell us the meds we need, just a scare story. But if there is a problem it just proves we need the meds made in the UK and not to rely on other countries to do it!!!!! Bit of politics there.

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Many made here but they get cheaper ones from abroad. The two I take come from different companies each month.

In fact one of our biggest supplies has a big warehouse/distribution centre here but we very seldom not get theirs.

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Too much scaremongering. We can talk ourselves into any situation rather than out of it. No, I'm not concerned.

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Not bothered and I gave diabetes and MS meds and heart stuff

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This is from the royal college of physicians, you aren't going to accuse them of scaremongering i hope. rcplondon.ac.uk/news/rcp-an...

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Great link, thank-you! I don't see their letter as any sort of fear-mongering, rather I read it as wise council advising the addition of a dedicated medical advisor and it is advice I sincerely hope is acted on first thing tomorrow morning (Monday 2 Sept).

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england.nhs.uk/eu-exit/medi...

You might find this link of interest.....

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I'm in NE Scotland so will be scouring the NHS Scotland site this afternoon for a similar page - the one you've posted is for NHS England and I should think English patients will find it a great reassurance.

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We are in NE Scotland too, near Turriff.

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We're between Dundee and Aberdeen close to the North Sea.

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Read it but as it is dictated by our government I take it with a pinch of salt! Thanks for the link.

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the french are soon to rehearse paperless border checks for a no deal brexit scenario :- ft.com/content/6dbc4966-cb2...

the eu has prepared regulatory changes in case of brexit :- ema.europa.eu/en/about-us/u...

im sure most of the medication will be on the who essential medications list so not in short supply :- who.int/medicines/publicati...

thought the hrt shortage was due to a factory not producing satisfactory quality drugs but i could be wrong.

i think my bisoproplol and other medications wont be in short supply.

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An interesting reference to Big Pharma. Yes I am pretty sure they will to us anyway, but the concern is about shipping problems, not their willingness to sell.

I am also pretty sure that some Big Pharma will use this as an excuse to raise prices.

Personally, I use an annual prepaid certificate, so this will not hit me.

I presume we all do the prepaid thing. You only need two prescriptions per months for it to be cost effective, but it is amazing how many people don’t think about it.

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You're quite right about the pre-paid cert thing, we used it for years as the meds were £50+ per month, could never really figure out how that could be cost effect for the NHS. We then had to buy a tablet used for epilepsy in humans for our dog. Took the private prescription to the pharmacy expecting it to cost a fortune, I can't remember the exact cost but it was only £2 something. I believe at the time on the NHS, prescribtions items were bout £8 each!!

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Indeed. I don’t have a prescription for Paracetamol, although GP offers. It costs the NHS about a pound, and I pay 25p from Tesco.

But Ranolozine is £50 per month ($350 in the US, if that isn’t too close to making a political comment).

I’ve NEVER had a drug for the hound that was less than £12, and usually nearer £30 (that’s the Hector of my membership name btw, five stone of Basset Hound that thinks he’s my carer. )

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I've no doubt Hector is your carer, we would be lost without our furry friends. I have a JRT and a chihuahua cross JRT, both are rescue dogs and I'd be lost without them. The chihuahua is the smallest dog ever, but boy does he run the household!! Perhaps, next time the vets offer our dogs a tablet maybe we should ask if there's a human equivalent and choose whichever is the most cost effective. When our dog was on regular medication (not the epilepsy one) we used to buy them from a pet meds company on the net, way cheaper than the vets.

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Personally NO, I do not buy the fear mongering... but it is always advisable to have a supply, not just of meds but also food water batteries etc just in case of bad weather, or the power cut we had not so long ago. Remember Venezuela used to be one of the richest countries in the world... Better to have it and not need it than ... well.

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Can you trust Big Pharma anyway?

Friday, April 6, 2018

4. Avandia: the planned disaster

The American daily Washington Post has published a lengthy recap on a rather gigantic medical scandal (estimated at 83,000 heart attacks or deaths ) on diabetics treated with Avandia, and which tells how a dangerous drug can voluntarily be broadcast on a global scale.

The facts: in 2006, an article appears in the reference journal NEJM ( New England Journal of Medicine ), a magazine in which each article is dissected before publication by a panel of experts a priori independent.

In the article, admirable results for Avandia , compared with two competing drugs. At the time, the "experts" did not have to report their links with the laboratories concerned by their expertise. If this had been the case, we would have known that each of the 11 experts had been awarded by the GSK laboratory for reimbursement fees. And that 4 of them were straight employees of the firm, and held shares.

Once the marketing authorization has been obtained, the lab launches Avandia and the prescriptions fly away. With, in the medical world, a nagging questioning that sets in: is it normal for treated diabetics to see their "bad cholesterol" level soar? In cardiac patients, it would be at least a contraindication.

Even within the lab, officials are asking questions. As well as the FDA, the US regulatory body, which asks GSK to launch a study on the subject. The lab runs, but puts forward studies that are actually skewed, because heart patients, so those who could have measurable disorders, were excluded from the study ...

A classic method of "bias" very difficult to unravel by experts not too watching, but that does not escape Steven Nissen, a doctor who had shown his determination and his qualities as a pharmacologist in the drama of Vioxx , not a trivial matter (40,000 suspected deaths). This one retrieves other data, this time on larger populations, what is called a meta-analysis.

Its results are then published in record time by the same NEJM, whose editors are frightened by the numbers: "If these calculations are correct, it is thousands of patients who are in danger of death! "

But GSK was ready for the riposte and released yet another biased study, on a weak and poorly described sample, but enough to temporarily calm the panic.

Nissen does not give up and eventually gets an FDA reviewer in 2010 to prove that this latest lab study was skewed and was designed to save time.

The rumor is transformed into scientific bronca, investigations are conducted by the FDA, they prove that internally the problem was well known, endorsed, accounted for.

In September 2010, the Avandia is withdrawn from the market in Europe , and undergoes very important restrictions of use in the USA.

On July 2, 2012, GSK agrees to pay a record $ 3 billion for the prosecution of several of its drugs , most notably Avandia.

In France, more than 200,000 diabetics have taken Avandia for two to three years, in a perfect silence of a press not yet traumatized by the case Médiator.

Conclusion

In the jungle of medicines, it's better not to ... get sick.

A healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, well-informed intake of quality food supplements, relaxing activities and good morale are a must to minimize the risk of one day being a victim of a thousand and one pharmaceutical companies abuse. , and of all those who live off the sickness of others.

Letter from Dr. Jean-Marc Dupuis

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The govt is hopelessly unprepared in my opinion, and the medical profession is very worried, yet some people on this forum seem to think it’ll all be ok presumably because they voted leave and can’t see that this is the kind of mess which can arise. Blame the campaign not the voters.

My daughter is on lifetime meds made in Denmark. Mine come from Belgium and somewhere else, not sure. So who knows what will happen? I’m worried.

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Me too. Agree with you. Strange times.

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I can understand your feelings of (anger? Frustration? Worry?) considering the medical conditions in your family being dependent to a critical degree on medications made in EU member states. I'm not saying one way or the other which way I voted - and when I posted the question I wrote I wasn't looking for a political discussion; I can if need be go without the beta blockers but like you and your daughter, there are many here who can't go without so shortages are a worry.

I feel sure no matter how anyone discussing this topic voted, we're all concerned (or not) and have at least given some thought to medication availability. Fwiw, my medications are apparently made in the EU, and I will be checking with the GP surgery and the chemist tomorrow to see what they're planning.

And yes, these are very strange times :(

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Thanks. The strange times are in themselves damaging to health. We all know that stress /worry can exacerbate AF for example. I’m particularly sensitive to this as my wife has a recurring cardiomyopathy, with symptoms including unexpected and significant changes in blood pressure. I always thought she was less prone to concern about meds & the Brexit future, but she was rushed to A&E with very high BP numbers indeed a few hours after learning about Parliament being prorogued. She’s back to normal now but I can’t help thinking the politicians are setting us all up for many issues in the future.

Yes finding out about the surgery’s and pharmacy’s planning is a good idea but why do ordinary people like us have to do this? It wasn’t written on the side of a bus!

imho the new govt website /brexit only makes the reader more worried.

It’d be good if you could let us know what you learn today about medication. Good luck! My daughter and I’ll do the same, when we’re able, later in the week.

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I've just come in from checking with the chemist and GP - the chemist was reluctant to say if supplies have been stockpiled but said it would be wise to see if my GP will double my prescription for the reorder due to be made this Friday (6th Sept), and for the following refill set for the last week of October. She said this is a common double-up for people who are planning a lengthy holiday away from the UK and said 'Don't your children and grandchildren live in the USA?'.

So I went straight from the chemist to the GP. The desk staff were as reluctant as the chemist to say anything but suggested I book a tenner (ten minute consult) with the GP to see if she can give me what they called 'a travel double-up'.

A work-around I'm going to take up if the GP is amenable. I'm seeing her Wednesday morning.

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Thankfully the GP already issues kevins prescriptions for 2 months of meds. His previous Dr always did when they were allowed to do so and his current Dr has continued to do so. Your post has made me realise his bisoprolol prescription is monthly only though. We're seeing the GP next week so will mention it. Thanks for the reminder

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Good. Thanks. I imagine GPs would be happy to do that with everything to do with our hearts as I don’t believe there’s any drug for us which is addictive. I / we will do the same as you later this week when I’m back home.

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I am very worried about my medicines as I've not been able to obtain one for almost a month now. It's made in the UK but the company also has facilities in France and Denmark. I have been able to get an alternative formulation but it contains ingredients that produce unpleasant side effects. The manufacturer said the normal pills would be available at the end of August and produced an unlicensed version with only a 3 month life from manufacture and my doctor gave me a prescription for a 2 week supply a week ago. The pharmacist ordered them today after learning that the normal tablets were still not available but I have to wait a week before he has them.

I know that there are more shortages now than there has before and we are still in the EU. Probably most have seen news about HRT shortages, also shortages for epilepsy drugs, and a lot of concern about those with a very short shelf life such as insulin when we leave.

I take four drugs including Bisoprolol, anti-anxiety and pain relief. I am not supposed to stop any of them suddenly if at all. I can't stockpile as, like most GPs, there is a maximum period of a month between prescriptions and I don't think I would be allowed to get a month's supply every 2 weeks. Also I've already been waiting for almost a month for the one that is made by one company in the UK which is now owned by a European company which I was given a week short of in very early August.

So yes, I am very worried, but I'm also worried about shortages of fuel and food. Even a 2 day delay at the border will cause shortages and a number of things including devaluation will make everything more expensive.

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I have no words or suggestions that could possibly ease your concerns but I'm so glad you've posted - I think those of us who are thinking about this potential for shortages have valid reasons for being concerned, and we need to discuss the topic. Thank-you for posting, please follow and post any updates regarding your prescriptions. I hope your local chemist can obtain a supply of the medication that doesn't cause side effects for you.

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I have concerns about two drugs:

i) Insulin as changing is not easy as it is simply a case of x units of A is the same as x units of B. When I was in hospital once someone decided that I should try the latest insulin - it floored me!

ii) One BP medication comes from.a specific manufacturer as the no -active ingredients in alternatives give me palpitations - not ideal post bypass.

Thank you for posting the fears and worries of many. As Gordon Brown said today we do not want these concerns dismissed as Project Fear but some Project Fact!

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Just read interesting Guardian article:

theguardian.com/politics/20...

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Eek!

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The age of the expert is truly over.

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I think anyone who does not show any concern over the availability of potentially life saving drugs after 31st Oct is not being entirely honest! We are certainly going to find out WHO our friends are around the world come Brexit. Government should be more open & transparent with regard to what will be happening, to dispel false rumours etc !

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Have Faith in the Government, Never mind the UK Government would the EU get in the way of Medicines for UK patients hardly. Pharma companies need to sell their medicines into the UK Market to make a profit and they will. Different Medicines will have Different Priorities and I feel they will be supplied. Can you really see the French Lorry Driver saying I am not working today because the EU screwed up, or Brittany Ferries saying to the Crew of the Cross Channel Fleets no work today, but don't worry we will pay you all !!!. This will not just be a one way problem Have Faith

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It is a two way street, something I have always said. I hope this doesn't turn into a debate on rights & wrongs of Brexit.

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I agree, it is a two way street. And luckily for the most part this discussion has not become a political one, staying on-topic carefully only regarding potential shortages or supply-line disruptions.

Have you taken any steps towards mitigating potential shortages in your medication(s)?

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I'm booked in for a permanent pace maker on 24th Sept & have been taken off Bisoprolol until then .I know there are alternatives but I have faith in common sense prevailing.

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All the best for a smooth insertion and recovery. I too have faith common sense will prevail but I also think there might be some delays which will cause short-term delays in the supply-line. Common sense sometimes takes a minute or so to reassert itself:)

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Back in from the GP - she did give me one 'travel double up' for when I reorder in October so I should now make it through to the end of the year without worrying. We didn't talk about Brexit, all I said as I sat down was 'I'm hoping I can get a travel increase' and she said 'No problem' and I was out of there in less than five minutes.

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This could be a Blessing in Disguise for some of us Hearties

I know if I was looking at say running out of Bisoprolol I would be cutting my 10mg in half and it would be interesting to see how I go on. I may feel much better I don't know !!!

I do believe that if a shortage occurred in a particular medicine the shortfall could be covered very very quickly. Big Pharma are not going to stop producing the Medications they Manufacture because the UK has left the EU !!! I do think it won't be a problem. Now Cucumbers from the Netherlands that's a different matter.

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I have to agree about the supply-lines being back up and running quickly. Between air-freight and stockpiles, I don't know if there will be much more than a 2-3 week delay, if that.

:) I'd cut my Bisoprolol tab in half if it came to it but that thing is so tiny (1.25mg) I'm not sure I could get it in the cutter safely!

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Kevin's only on 1.25! If you find a cutter let me know please 😁

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Well, I have a cutter (found it at the Boots) but there is no way that 1.25mg is going to be safely cut with it. My 1.25mg tab is so tiny the cutter would crush it, not cut it and I imagine your husband's is the same size as mine. Cutting is not an option.

Forgot to add to my update above, one of my neighbours is also on Bisoprolol 1.25mg, she picked up her refill this morning and she says the chemist told her no worries regarding supplies. I found that reassuring.

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That's really good news.. We've a meeting with GP next week, so will hopefully confirm then

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Without going into politics too deeply, I think the reason for the sudden 'no worries' from the chemist is down to last night in the HoC - looks as though we're going to have another extension so a no-deal exit is unlikely now.

Again, trying to avoid politics here (per everyone's excellent efforts:) ) but I do think this one mention of it germane considering reasonable concerns a no-deal worst case scenario could mean possible short term shortages and supply-line disruptions. The actions by MPs last night make that no-deal exit look highly unlikely.

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Without being political....you could be right! Interesting times 🤔

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Yea, without being political I don’t think Brexit will happen doh 🤭🤫🤐😆

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Noooooo l, I've had to sit through a whole afternoon with a young lad ranting bout brexit & I've yet to listen to kevins latest party political broadcast!! stop it 😂

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I'd go mad without the Drama Channel - the perfect antidote to news!

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Hmmm, must try and get custody of the remote tonight!

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I a very worried about my meds as I've not been able to obtain one (a pain pill) since the first week in August. Only one company makes the tablets and they produced an unlicensed capsule. I was first given a liqwuid alternative which has some nasty side-effects for me and is hard to measure the correct dose of, then a prescription for 10 days of the capsules, but apparently they won't arrive at the chemist before the 16th (ordered on 2nd). I also take the lowest dose of Bisoprolol and have succeeded in using a pill cutter on them but usually around half of each pill is turned into crumbs. I have two other medicines that I need and am not supposed to stop taking or reduce without a doctors supervision.

I am terrified of no-deal because if I can't obtain most of my medicines I'd be in agony and suffer from the effects of suddenly stopping an opioid, an anti-anxiety med, one to stop muscle spasms plus the bisoprolol which helps prevent both atrial tachycardia (not AF) and reduces my blood pressure.

Because I'm already one of those suffering from a shortage since early August and will have nothing left by the time the emergency capsules arrive (GP keeps changing alternative and I can't get a phone appointment until Thursday) I know that no deal will make things much worse. I suffer from anxiety already and this makes it much worse but I suppose I should be grateful that I don't need very short life imported drugs such as insulin, cancer drugs and radioactive dyes and treatments that use radioactivity, or other items that already have shortages that could kill those who rely on them such as anti-epilepsy drugs.

Probably this post belongs in all sections as most members of Health Unlocked take medication.

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Thank-you for your post, it describes perfectly the worries so many of us have. I hope your medications arrive sooner than expected, and as it now looks highly unlikely we'll have a no-deal exit (or any exit at all, the way things are going at Westminster), hopefully whatever has caused the delays will now ease off.

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I don't think my current problem is Brexit-related. I was only able to get three weeks supply in August and for some reason or another the only company here that makes the tablets suddenly stopped in the first week of August. They produced an unlicensed capsule as a substitute and that was ordered over 2 weeks ago. At first I was told I'd have a 2 week supply of those last week but was then told they'd not be available until the 16th. The manufacturer says they hope to have the tablets again within another 2 to 3 weeks, but at first the date given was the end of August. The unlicensed capsules only have a 90 day life from manufacture as well.

In the meantime I'm getting a few days supply at a time of a liquid version made by a company that specialises in medicines for people who can't swallow pills. I find it difficult to pour the correct dose and impossible to guess how much I have left. When this started I was given 3 weeks of the liquid, then 10 days of unlicensed capsules (still not received) and now have been given 10 days liquid, everyone hoping that tablets will be available before I run out.

Maybe this shows that Brexit isn't the only reason for shortages, although there do seem to be more now than in the past.

As for bisoprolol, I have managed to halve 1.25 mg tablets with a Boots pill cutter although it's not easy. You have to position the pill at the bottom of the triangle and make sure it doesn't move when cutting. I've never been able to get two perfect halves but usually both parts are big enough to work. Sometimes one half just crumbles though, so you do it at your own risk.

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I have Essential Tremor (on top of the multiple heart conditions, also PCOS and so far very mild Rheumatoid Arthritis they think is part of the result of the rheumatic fever during childhood) so trying to get even one average sized tab into the cutter and split is not doable for me, much less getting that squinty little Bisoprolol in there and cut cleanly - I'm laughing but it's not really all that funny.

Brexit complications or not, we need to bring medications manufacturing back to the UK and never let it leave again.

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