Chronic medication too expensive for Nhs Scotland?

Hi Everyone

I have been using cipramil/citalopram as part of my fibro treatment for the past 20 years. I have to use a brand without lactose or sugar. This is difficult. Now finally the consultant suggested Cipralex by Lundbeck as the other brand names are not available in the uk anymore. The gp prescribed it for a month and when I got the next prescription, the pharmacist called me into her office and told me the surgery cannot prescribe the brand name as it is far too expensive. The generic brands with sugar or lactose, gives me migraines which then increase my fb pain to an unbearable level.

I felt harrassed by the pharmasist's actions. Is it her place to take this stand towards me? I feel let down by the system and can only see the gp in three weeks time.

I would appreciate some input please!

Best wishes

11 Replies

  • How extremely rude ,it has absolutely nothing to do with her,go back for your prescription but politely but firmly tell her or you will make a complaint you genuinely need it,it really angers me when chemists take it upon themselves,don't stress yourself.

    Elf x

  • Thanks Elf, this has put a lot of strain on me. They make patients feel that we are beggars. Afterall, we as patients are still the chemist's client.

  • I don't understand what the chemist has got to do with what the Dr prescribes you, is it connected to the surgery? I would ring your surgery and ask to speak to the Dr if you can't get an appointment for three weeks, it's ridiculous 😟 Maybe you could try another chemist?

  • Hi Dexter, no the chemist is not connected to the surgery. I will definitely try another chemist.

    Thanks for your reply

  • Hi I would phone surgery and ask them if it's true but I don't think it's up to a pharmacy to tell you about prescription your doctor has already prescribed you surely gp would not give prescription to you if that was the case I would definitely look into it Carol ☺

  • I have to say that conversation at pharmacy is totally out of order, he should do as doctor says and phone the surgery himself to query even a docs Secretary would see on your notes " this brand only" ask your g.p to state that on all your prescriptions mine's profit orientation with some as certain meds give them nil profit but the massive amount they make on Prescription Paracetamol @ 16p. Aspirin @ 9p dispensed in millions each year !!!!!! Don't take NO. Hun

  • Hi Caz, I was really upset and believe you might be right about the profit margin. The doctor has known me for a long time and I do not know how this improper behaviour on the part of the pharmasist, could be ok.

  • As others have said Nita7 do not be guided by your pharmacist. Your consultant has prescribed you this and to my mind that even tops your GP. If you are having trouble getting it and your GP is not keen then ring your consultant's secretary and ask for a letter which clearly states the brand and what happens if you take the cheaper ones.

    Sometimes you need to be assertive!


  • Hi Nita7

    I really am so genuinely sorry to read this and it is unacceptable in my opinion. There is another possibility here, and this is that the pharmacist has a contract with the rival cheaper company and they get 'kick backs?' A form of cash incentive to get you prescribed this other version?

    Personally, I would get straight on to your surgery about this and go to a different pharmacy. I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Dear Ken,

    It means so much to me hearing all you feeling the same about this issue. To know I have a voice amongst you, means a lot! I now have an appointment for 11 November and by then will still have a week's medication left. As you probably know, this type of medication is for depression and anxiety - this whole issue is just driving my situation in the wrong direction.

    Thank you for your kind input.

    All of the best for you personally too!


  • Good luck my friend.

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