Super long prescription time

Super long prescription time

Today I had my annual review.

I brought up the issue of my prescriptions only being for two months (well, 56 days). I presented a snippet from the MHRA and another from the BMA both imploring three month or longer prescriptions. I explained that as I buy my own from Germany, there is absolutely NO increase in costs. My TSH is only 0.01 different to last year - so very stable.

Very reluctantly she prepared a new prescription - up to 84 days. With the warning that the next repeat might take it down to 56 days again... She wasn't exactly anti but seemed to be getting squeezed between my (reasonable) request and whatever rules, regulations, peer pressure, etc., are pushing her the other way.

The merest sliver of a sniff of a slice of success. O well, at least I asked, and tried.


17 Replies

  • Rod, that sort of thing makes me feel like a hostage. I hate it. The endo here gave me a script for 100 days. Since she's fooling around with the dose, there's no repeats. Drives me bonkers. I can totally FEEL for you.

  • It isn't even that big a deal for me. But it would help to "prove" to the pharmacy in Germany that I use, that I can reasonably buy the quantity I ask to buy. Mainly for convenience (only having to order four prescriptions a year) and reduced postage!

    I did it because I feel strongly that patient convenience is being totally ignored.

    By the way, UK packaging is almost universally 28-tablet blister packs for levothyroxine.


  • Rod, I can understand NHS prescriptions being limited to 3 months to avoid waste if medication deteriorates but it seems stupidly bureaucratic to restrict you purchasing your own from Germany.

    When my Levothyroxine was being titrated I was given 56 days supply of each dose. Now it's stable I'm only given 28 days each of T4 and T3. Doesn't make sense.

  • Clutter, over here parsing drugs like that increases the prescribing fees for the pharmacists. Instead of picking up a 6 month supply and paying, let's say $12 plus cost, the pharmacy gets $12 times 6 plus cost. Maybe that's fine for people who have insurance but for a person who doesn't, it increases the cost of taking necessary medication unnecessarily. I don't know how it works over by you. The NHS pays the pharmacist for counting the pills and putting a label on the container? If it's like here, then government benefits are paid at half the fee to the pharmacist so it makes sense from a financial perspective for the pharmacist to get paid monthly. For non-government covered prescription drugs the prescribing fee is double.

  • I don't know how pharmacies are paid but prescription charge to the patient is per item prescribed ie 84/56 tablets will cost the same as 28.

  • Exactly. So if a person needs to fill a prescription 12 times per year as opposed to 3 times, the pharmacy gets more money. It's a sort of scam.

  • Prescription charges are set by govt. I'm not sure who determines whether 28/56/84 tablets are prescribed but it's not the pharmacy.

  • Clutter, so when you pick up your meds, there's no breakdown on 'fee' and 'cost'?

    Here we get a breakdown. So the 'cost' of meds could be anything from a few dollars to hundreds, but the pharmacist's fee to count out the pills etc. is set.

  • No fee or cost just one price per item regardless of how much its worth the price you pay is the same

  • Thyroxine is free and if your on thyroxine anything else is free too even if unrelated to thyroid condition

  • LOL! Like birth control pills. No here it's 90 per bottle for Levo. It's North America: everything's bigger. :)

  • Not everything, Gabkad :-P

  • Well don Rod,

    So I am assuming it is a private prescript as you pay for your own meds. It's a good idea to try to get meds longer than 2 months if possible, whether NHS or private.

  • It is a standard NHS prescription - I simply scan it and sent that with an email to the German pharmacy. Otherwise the pharmacy asks lots of questions and charges a bit more for doing so.

    I can then file the prescription away - I wouldn't "cash" it in for medicines that I am not going to take.


  • Thanks Rod

    I was unaware that you could send NHS prescriptions abroad. It does seem better as you get exactly what you want.

  • Yep. I get the impression that the German pharmacy is required to satisfy themselves that people purchasing have a bona fide reason for buying the product. I have found that the NHS prescription does that.

    So it is treated like a private prescription - and I have to pay for the medicine and postage. So not as wonderful as all that but it does offer an opportunity that might not otherwise be possible.

  • Thaks again,

    The most important thing is that the medication works for you. You probably have a stable supplier as well.

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