Have prescribing guidelines been changed or is my GP just being an a**e ??


Wondered if one of you wonderful people could enlighten me ? I've been on a Vit D prescription for the last couple of years after my GP realised from a blood test that I'd virtually none in my system. I ordered a repeat prescription recently & this was left off so re-ordered it. The chemists kindly rang my surgery, were told that I've been told about this & as it's a supplement they're no longer prescribing them. That was news to me !! Is this happening elsewhere or is my GP watching the pennies ?

Many thanks all,

Cath xx

21 Replies

  • Who knows. I buy my own Vit D after my GP wrote a prescription and my chemist kindly dispensed a bottle labelled "vitamins". Not helpful!

  • It sounds like the multivitamin product 'Vitamins caps BPC'. It comes as a small black capsule.

  • I think you need to speak to your GP to find out why they have stopped it. Have you had your vitamin D tested recently? If not, they should have done one before stopping your vitamin D to make sure you are no longer deficient. If you are deficient, it is not a supplement but a treatment and your GP should continue to prescribe it. If you are no longer deficient, insist on another vitamin D test every 6 months to make sure the same doesn't happen again.

    I suspect it is a case of watching the pennies :(

  • My GP will only treat severe deficiency and can only prescribe Fultium 800iu which is useless if you are very low like me. Plus I can't take them as they make me feel ill. I need a mega dose but can't take it ! Oh and it is down to cost as they won't test either now.

  • I felt ill when I took large doses of vitamin D and it was because my magnesium levels had plummeted. I've since found out that vitamin D needs magnesium molecules to convert it into its active form so apparently it's quite common for people to have problems taking it. Might be worth taking some magnesium and then trying again.

  • I overheard my pharmacist explaining to a customer a week ago that new restrictions were coming in on prescribing Vit D. Didn't pick up what they were though.

  • My GP tried to stop mine with the "we dont prescribe vitamins" lark. I sent some papers showing that it was a hormone plus three letters from Consultants all asking for me to be prescribed it - got a "see me" response. At my appointment spent 45 minutes debating the merits and arguing over why I needed it whilst he sat with his nose in the computer looking it up on healthfood shop websites and quoting the cost to me. Then my other half turned round and said "so this is about cost and we are arguing about 4 x 3monthly injections which she will do herself and cost the grand total of £34 a YEAR!" With that he just wrote out a script!

    Yes it is about money and the GP's are now in charge of the purse strings. :-(

  • Hi people,

    Very grateful for all your replies, I'll see the doc & see if I can get any more out of him ( she says hopefully !!). I had a couple of injections originally as I was so low & the fultium seems to have maintained a reasonable level for a while, I'll pass on what happens if of interest !!

    Take care all & thanks again xx

  • Oh I see you're on Fultium. Due to the oddities of licensing, you can't actually buy the Fultium brand, but you can buy a variety of other products containing the same dose.

    Good luck when you see your doctor, but if s/he won't prescribe at least you know your options.

  • >The chemists kindly rang my surgery, were told that I've been told about this & as it's a supplement they're no longer prescribing them. That was news to me !!

    What brand are you on? And what dose?

    Most vitamin D products are legally classified as food supplements. Only a few (such as Fultium D3 and Desunin) are licensed medicines. There are no national instructions preventing GPs from prescribing food supplements, but there may be a local agreement amongst the GPs in your area. GPs are always expected to prescribe when clinical deficiency is present, but after 2 years of treatment, it's unlikely that you are still deficient, so the responsibility of the GP to prescribe is much less clear cut. You could ask for another vitamin D test, but it probably wouldn't lead to a change in your medication. Doctors are taught to only perform tests which are likely to alter management in some way - which is fair enough.

    >Is my GP watching the pennies ?

    I think so, yes. They want you to start buying it. This may be annoying, but if you shop around, you can obtain excellent value. If I was in your position, I wouldn't want to risk damaging my relationship with the surgery by attempting to force them to reverse their decision. I would buy it. Others may disagree, but I find that maintaining a good relationship with the surgery is important. It may well pay off in future.

    Vitamin D deficiency is exceptionally common in the UK, and has become more so in recent years as more and more people have started to protect themselves from the sun to reduce the risk of cancer. I expect your surgery has decided to limit the prescribing of vitamin D supplements to the treatment phase only, and not the prevention phase.

  • Thanks xx

  • I have a severe vit D deficiency and the doctor refuses to prescribe it. I use the vit D and B12 sprays. But I think it's penny pinching of them in my opinion, to rely on the patient to adequately medicate. I guess it is because probably over 75% requires vit D and it would be too costly.

  • If a patient pays for prescriptions they cost £7.85. A GP typically puts 2 or 3 months supply of 2 x 800IU per day on a prescription costing £31.40 to £47.10 for each year.

    Bio-tech Vitamin D3 can be bought at 100 capsules of 50,000IU to be taken weekly for about £20 on the internet. That's £10 per year.

    Unless you have free prescriptions its cheaper to buy your own. A good GP tells you when a treatment is cheaper if not bought via a prescription. Many other people are baffled why the NHS pays well above the market price for certain medicines and treatments.

    If you have free prescriptions you may have a fight to get a prescription for Fultium.

  • less than 13 quid for a year's worth @ 5,000iu daily


    some might not want to use this much, in which case it would be two years worth at every other day!

    I think we are going to see a LOT of this penny pinching from now on though, drug substitutions, and unwillingness to refer to consultants unless for extreme symptoms.

    I have a suspicion I am already suffering the latter, even though my GP is generally pretty accommodating!

  • Oh... personally I don't think it a good idea to supplement Vit D3 without Vitamin K2 too.. especially if you are supplementing calcium (and I am no sure too many need to supplement Calcium) info online eg. articles.mercola.com/sites/...

  • Probably a cost thing cis after been told my daughter needed it fir life due to meds she's on consultant told me it would be lowered (she's on double strength due to epilepsy meds! ) Will mention it again at next pant not possible g around with my child's health like they have mine!

  • Sorry I reductive text lol that should say next appointment nit pissing around with my daughters health over penny pinching!

  • Many thanks for all your replies, they're much appreciated :-) I would like to have been told by my GP rather than finding out like I did but hey ho, life will go on !!

    Take care all xx

  • My GP tried it on with Vit d too. I made the point that since i already have to fund my own ndt and b12 ampoules (since they wont dose me adequately) that as a taxpayer, the least the nhs could do was give me vit D. so she did.

  • Nice one, thanks :-)

  • Same happened to me the GP said the vitamin D is no more on repeat prescription according NHS regulation!

    He said it'scheap you can buy it !!!

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