Cost of lifesaving heroin withdrawal drug soars... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Cost of lifesaving heroin withdrawal drug soars by 700%


Possibly a bit off-topic, but it follows on from the Liothyronine (T3) extreme over-charging issue which still rumbles on.

Looks to me as if this medicine cost issue is being exploited ruthlessly and systematically.

Cost of lifesaving heroin withdrawal drug soars by 700%

Treatment agencies warn of extra drug-related deaths unless price hike is addressed

A 700% spike in the price of a drug used to wean addicts off heroin has caused alarm among treatment agencies, which warn of a rise in drug-related deaths unless urgent action is taken to make it more affordable.

Buprenorphine is an alternative to methadone that reduces the symptoms of withdrawal and lessens the desire to use heroin. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people in England use the drug, which offers a reduced risk of overdose compared with methadone.

Earlier this year it emerged that one of the makers of the generic drug, which is far cheaper than its branded equivalent, Subutex, had stopped producing it. Amid fears of an impending shortage, the government stated that pharmacies could be paid close to the same price for dispensing buprenorphine as Subutex, in an attempt to encourage manufacturers, who could command higher prices elsewhere, to continue supplying the UK. Prices rocketed.

Rest of article available here

8 Replies

Not only that, I heard on the radio today that people are be8ng advised to use their epipens after their use by date because there is a shortage of lifesaving epipens and that there are no childrens’ epipens to be had.

How appalling is that.

helvellaAdministrator in reply to Fruitandnutcase

Yes - saw that as well.

"The collective principle asserts that ... no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means."

— Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear 1952

shawsAdministrator in reply to DippyDame

Big Pharma seems to have jumped on the band-wagon to fleece the NHS and sick people through exorbitant charges.

Shocking yet again! But businesses need to make a profit, we all know that but sad they resort to fleecing the NHS! The government should but a stop to this as I'm sure what we are hearing is just the tip of the ice burg. Research leading to new drugs is expensive, I can understand that and I understood that there was a system where this could be clawed back but then revert to production cost and a reasonable profit margin. Is this no longer the case? If not why not! If the NHS folds medication will become a post code lottery. To put it bluntly people will die. None of us want that to happen.

DippyDame in reply to silverfox7

I suspect people are already dying....we just don't hear about it!

Apart from the cost of medicines and creating new medicines doesn’t come cheap I’m sure but successive governments of all colours have failed to do anything about NHS procurement.

How can such a massive structure as the NHS not bulk buy? It appears that individual health authorities are paying different amounts for the same products and not only that they are paying more than it would cost to buy the same product from their local chemist’s shop or from a supermarket.

If the NHS shopped wisely I’m sure they could save a bit of money. Probably a drop in the ocean compared to their overall budget but at least it would be money well spent.

We must also remember that we are paying for research that amounts to nothing and I accept that as well. No one knows when starting on research whether it will be successful of not though some sort of probability exercise is done. So we have to also expect cost of 'failure' as well. Some researches start out down one path and find themselves following another if the results are favouring this and costs can make your eyes water if not familiar with the coatings. Put it this way, my husband was a research fellow and his salary was peanuts compared to the full package. So yes some has to be clawed back but progress comes with a price tag! But there is a huge difference between hiking up the costs on manufacturing and paying for expanding research and pushing back frontiers. A

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