Thyroid UK
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VIT B12 - Hydroxocobalamin is the Generic. As ThIs Is Unavailable, Is anyone Else Having Problems Getting The Brands?

My Pharmacist recently gave me back my prescription for the above telling me he could not get it as all the wholesalers were out of stock due to a shortage of the product. He suggested I went back to my GP. I did some research and found on here that the generic has been unavailable due to shortages of the product for months with no news as to when it will be available, however there is plenty of the two brands.

I contacted my GP explaining the situation and asked for my prescription to be changed. At first I was sent an email saying that a script had been done but then I got a call from the GP to say that the two Brands were not on the NHS list so the GP could not prescribe them. I was advised by the GP to go back to my Pharmacist and tell them that they had to supply whatever they could be it generic or brand because my GP says thats what they have to do if what is on the scrip it not available. I told my Pharmacist this and he said he would look into it but have heard nothing back.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so how has it been resolved? I note that the Pernicious Anaemia Society have a letter for their members to send to their GP's but if what my GP is saying is correct and GP's cannot prescribe the Brand because its not on the NHS list, then the letter they produce is of no use.


9 Replies

As far as I'm aware the Pharmacist is obligated to supply you with what's available, as the GP has said. Have you chased them up? They may well have ordered it. The Department of Health is aware of the shortage, and knows that only the other 2 brands are available, so there's no excuse for feet dragging. Can you try another Pharmacy? I think I read someone saying that Boots had plenty available (but that might have been a few weeks ago).

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Hi APsnotFab, I can't tolerate the generic, so my GP prescribes Cobalin H. It's not on the NHS list, but you can have it, but as a private patient, which means you pay for it. I pay approx £11 per box of five ampoules.


Whereas I got given Cobalin H on the NHS, so its the usual postcode lottery it would seem.


The woman who told me about Cobalin H doesn't pay either. This B12 apparently is on the black list but can be prescribed on a private precription. No it isn't fair, i have made my feelings known to the surgery but got nowhere!


It was me Helcaster! Prob more used to my real name now on FB :)


I asked my GP if it was a post code lottery thing and therefore down to CCG decisions. I was told it was not and that it is not on a NHS list which is available to anyone. My GP is good and was quite willing to give it to me. I was reassured it was nothing to do with any local blacklisting.

What I cant understand is if the NHS won't supply the Brand to patients on prescription, who do the company supply to? I believe GP's or Hospitals may be supplied with it, its just us poor patients who are not good enough!

My GP told me I could go to them and they would give me the injection (so take up an unwanted nurses time) but I cant get a script to do it myself! Talk about daft economics!


Am looking into this APsnotFab, hopefully get back to you later. Have you ever thought about sourcing your own (available OTC in Europe)?


AndreaM has replied below.


Do not accept this situation! Martyn, the chairman of the PA Society, spoke with the Department for Health and it was they who advised that patients be given branded products until the situation is resolved. I suggest you contact your MP and give him this information, and the telephone number of the PA Society if he wishes to speak with Martyn. The number is: 01656 769717 (office hours and preferably mornings)


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