Letter from GP regarding Hylo-Forte

Well what a ridiculous letter I received from my GP practice yesterday.

One of my regular prescriptions - Hylo-Forte 2% eye drops Preservative Free ( prescribed by

the top Ophthalmologist at my local hospital regarding the importance of protecting both my corneas - for life) has now been substituted by a cheaper drug Xailin HA 0.2% eye drops.

fair enough, the letter explained that the latter is cheaper and has exactly the same ingredients. However, in the letter, it distinctly explains that the new eye drops have to be discarded after 28 days, whereas the Hylo-Forte can last for 6 months due to the self sealing pump action of the bottle.

Now a basic calculation (that any primary school child can perform) would show that the older medication will work out cheaper as it lasts for 6 months?

Do you think I should point this error out? Also, the consultant wrote to my GP in January requesting that they organise physiotherapy for my neck and shoulders before I see him again in June. I had to chase the consultant's secretary yesterday too who informed me my GP was most definitely informed of this. Now nearly 3 months later I am pushing against a closed door.


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11 Replies

  • Not to mention that every time a new bottle of the "cheap" stuff is dispensed there will be a charge to pay the dispensing chemist. You don't say how long the "expensive" stuff lasts for you, probably not the full 6 months? But if he gives you a single prescription for your drops it will cost over £1 (in 2011, I can't imagine it has gone down since then) each month it must be handed out.

    It was the same with enteric coated prednisolone - stop the enteric coated and give the plain stuff as it is cheaper they said and add in a PPI for stomach protection, which isn't needed with the enteric coated. Manufacturers immediately put the price of "ordinary" so that 30 tabs of ordinary cost £1.31 plus the PPI at £1.86 plus 2 dispensing fees. Instead of £1.86 for the same amount of enteric coated and 1 dispensing fee.

    Nuts - and then the GPs discovered the patients couldn't tolerate ordinary plus the PPI when they'd been fine with enteric coated. Double whammy...

  • Madness! The cost of the Hylo-Forte (lasts 6 months) is very expensive I agree...About £10 per bottle. Therefore, even if I had 3 x bottles a year = £30

    The Xailin is about £7.50. I now have to discard each new bottle every month therefore 12 x bottles at approx. £7.50 = £90.00!

    Don't you think they would have worked this out before they sent the letter out?

    Dear oh dear

  • They are just looking at the fact 1 bottle is £X and not stopping to think about the fact you need it on a continuous basis. You could TRY pointing it out - and the expensive stuff sounds more convenient to me if it reseals anyway.

    And frankly - given the price of a lot of things, really, £10 is expensive?????????????? A commonly dispensed asthma medication costs about £80 and they wander back and say "Oh, I've lost it..."

    And you USE your stuff...

    PS - I assume you have a pre-payment certificate?

  • Due to the fact I have an underactive thyroid, I actually get all my prescriptions free so there is no worry about my having to pay for anything, it's a God send.

  • I would go back and argue the point, showing the simple calculation. i'd say that while you'd understand it if it were a shortage from the manufacturer etc, you don't see why you should be replacing it on the basis of inaccurate cost calculations.

  • Years ago I was prescribed 15mg Lanzaprazole twice a day because I have a hiatus hernia and suffer gastric reflux. Over time, eventually my reflux was usually controlled by taking one in the morning but the GP left the prescription as x2 per day so that I could have enough on those days when one in the morning wasn't enough. This meant that often I was able to leave this off my repeat because I had enough left for the next month. Recently my prescription was changed to one 30mg tablet a day as this is supposed to be more cost effective than 2x15mg but as I only took a second tablet a couple of times a month I probably only needed this prescription for about 7 months over the course of a year. Now I have 12 months of the higher dose which means the cost to the NHS has actually increased - and I'm taking more medication than I need.

  • GRRRRR: I too was prescribed hylo forte by a top eye consultant...and I have it on repeat prescription...well, thanks to your great discussion I'll be ready if/when my GP surgery pulls this one on me too....thanks best buddy...hope you'll let us know how you get on with fighting this 🍀🍀🍀🍀 coco

  • I was prescribed Optive eye drops and Lacrilube eye gel by a consultant ophthalmologist. Optive costs around £7-£8 a bottle, is preservative free and lasts six months. I still get the Optive but back in December was told Lacrilube was no longer available. My GP prescribed Viscotears and they are, in my opinion, better than the Lacrilube. Each dose is in an individual plastic phial so there is no waste. They cost around £8 a pack which lasts 30 days. Lubricates the eyes just like Lacrilube but without the sticky mess it used to make. I would go back and point out their mistake in calculations. I live in Scotland where prescriptions are free but I'm sure my surgery would appreciate me pointing out the savings to them.

  • Yikes! I put in a request for a repeat prescription for my Hyloforte today as it happens - I hope I get the real stuff as I have to eke it out and make it last. I live in England and have to pay for prescriptions and can't afford to get a prepayment card this year (we are in the difficult category of our income being very slightly over the free prescription level - sometimes I think it would actually be worth asking for a pay cut - isn't that ridiculous?)

  • Hi SjogiBear, are you aware that you can pay for a prescription prepayment certificate by Direct Debit? This allows you to split the payment into 10 monthly installments, which may be easier than laying out the total amount in one go. You can find out more about this at nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx

  • Interesting to hear from you all about your various eye drops.

    I have extremely dry eyes but despite my gp trying really hard, (I've tried all that have been mentioned in this thread, and more,) my eyes just get worse. At present I have celluvise 1% and lacri lube. I am waiting for an ophthalmologist appointment as I can't tolerate any of the drops well, very worried that I will be permanently damaging my eyes.

    Any advice guys?

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