Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Why do we in the north have to wait so long to benifit from new science

Hello again re marre reply

I checked out the web sites marre suggested and they are exciting news, only if however, you live stateside or south of the watford gap. I however am a poor northener and therefore not worth as much to britain as the others so I suspect it could be sometime before these new techniques are available to the likes of me. So my question is why is that?

2 Replies


It depends how North you mean...blood sample can be also taken at a phlebotomy centre at Bedford, and new is that it can be posted if your GP is willing to contact them for the right procedure etc.

The active B12 test has been available in Schotland first I believe before it came available in London...Also there is a petition/ debate going on at Scottish parliament etc see:


PAS had one at Westminster a few years ago...not much happenned yet..

Anyway I hope this helps you, one can contact John Roberts for more information, he is very helpful; tel: 020 71881250 but it is always best to email:

Kind regards,



No, I do not know which labs in Scotland do this tests, just know two persons who had the active B12 test in Scotland some years ago, one privately the other not privately.

For info on how to send samples for the test see:

Samples must be taken and transported in the correct way in order to ensure the integrity of the sample. If this is not done, the results could be affected. Please refer to the sample transport page on our website at This will provide necessary information on how to send samples, ensuring they are processed quickly by our Central Specimen Reception team.

Sample requirement – Venous blood should be collected into serum tubes (yellow top). Other sample types are not suitable. Before shipping, it is recommended that specimens be removed from the clot. Serum may be shipped ambient (maximum 16 hours in transit), at +2-8°C (wet ice) - stable for up to three days, or frozen (dry ice). The minimum sample

volume required to perform this assay is 200µl.

Advice – We provide expert interpretation of results to ensure your patients are being given the correct advice. GSTS scientists work closely with Clinicians to ensure the best advice and interpretation is provided for each result.

Turnaround time – The turnaround time for the ‘Active’ vitamin B12 assay is within 10 days from receipt of the sample.

Please note: ‘Active’ vitamin B12 concentrations <25 pmol/L indicate vitamin B12 deficiency. For results between 25-34 pmol/L a confirmatory functional assay of vitamin B12 status, namely methylmalonic acid (MMA) will be performed to confirm status.

For some interesting info see:

Axis- shield plc is the company making the test kit, they may well be able to give you more info on which labs use it, for contact details see their website:

Hope this helps,



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