Non-motoring > Prescription drugs in the UK Car Deals
Thread Author: No FM2R Replies: 33

 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
I take a whole bunch of asthma / allergy related drugs. Partly because I have asthma and partly because I live in a very polluted city.

The drugs are very effective and I'm very happy with them. Never has my asthma been so hassle free, which when you consider I'm old is quite a thing.

How could I find out if the drugs I use are readily available in the UK and whether or not they are prescription meds? And if they are prescription meds whether or not I will have any issues being prescribed them?

I'm thinking there ought to be some kind of comparison or recommended treatment website, but I can't find one.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - tyrednemotional
I suspect appropriate browsing here will give you all you need....

bnf.nice.org.uk/
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
"BNF is only available in the UK

The NICE British National Formulary (BNF) sites is only available to users in the UK, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories."

I'll attack it again later with a VPN in place.

Thanks though.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - tyrednemotional
If you can get it via VPN, I think browsing (from the link above) 'treatment summaries' and 'drugs', both arranged alphabetically, and Asthma is one of the former, should provide a pretty full overview.

All official documentation.

Days of entertainment for any hypochondriac.... ;-)
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
Chuck some names out and I might know.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
Cheers;

DuoResp Spiromax (Budesonide/formoterol)
Asventol (Montelukast)
D-Histaplus (Desloratadine)

plus salbutamol as and when, which isn't that often these days.

Any comments most welcome.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - tyrednemotional
Mark,

the nature of the NICE pages (with sub links etc.) makes it difficult to extract information in another form.

Each of the above drugs is fully described, including treatment guidelines, interactions, etc. right the way through to prescribable forms of the medicine (including whether these are POM, and even the NHS cost!). All very easy to access (with a UK IP address :-) ).

I'd suggest you try via your VPN for access, though, of course, Lygo could respond with professional input.

If you can't get access, I'll see if I can pull the relevant pages in some form for you.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
In lieu of Lygonos' expertise, that site sounds good. The VPN on my phone didn't work, but the one my PC at home can fool iPlayer, so that'll almost certainly get in.

 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
Quick look at BNF shows the budesonide/fometorol comes in a few guises now, presumably as the Symbicort patent has likely expired?

DuoResp Spiromax 160/4.5 - 320/9
Symbicort 400/12 - 200/6 - 100/6
Fobumix 320/9 - 160/4.5 - 80/4.5


 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
I was using the high dosage Symbicort but that was reduced to the high dosage Spiromax and the difference replaced with a nasal spray.

I don't know why, but after three lots of pneumonia in three years, I just do whatever they say these days now they've got it all stabilised.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
p.s. They are b****** expensive here. e.g. the Symbicort was around £200 per month whereas the Spriomax is considerably cheaper at £120 per month.

Even the Montelukast is around £50 per month. Whereas the Desloratadine is dead cheap. A fiver I think.

You wouldn't catch me complaining about prescription charges on the NHS.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
All readily available on prescription, NoFM2R.

The budesonide/fomoterol is branded Symbicort here.

Desloratadine was Neoclarityn but is generic now.

Montelukast is a tablet taken at night, branded Singulair - 10mg I think.


Respiratory not my specialty (more a heart guy) but have prescribed all of your meds in the past.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
Thank you Lygonos. Do you think any GP would have any issue prescribing me them all together? Particularly given that the dosage of budesonide is right up at the upper limit. Also, I didn't know about taking the Montelukast at night, I usually take it first thing around 6am. Obviously I shall change, but why does it matter?

T&E; Got into that site. hugely useful for a whole bunch of things. Thanks.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
>>Do you think any GP would have any issue prescribing me them all together

Shouldn't think so - some areas have local formularies which make it a bit of a pita to prescribe outwith the drugs on the list, but usually best not to mess with a stable asthmatics inhalers!
 Prescription drugs in the UK - smokie
Not sure why you are looking for being prescribed here but my doc (and a handful of other anecdotal instances I've heard of) will only prescribe a month at a time now, exceptional circumstances excluded (e/g/ long holiday). So I don't think you could pop over and grab a year's worth... :-)
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
Because I will be in the UK for a period of time and here also they will only prescribe for one month at a time so I cannot carry enough with me. I will have to restock at least once in the UK.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 01:34
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
Register anywhere but England and you'll get them for nowt.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
Meh, I can afford to pay for my drugs. The subsidies are best saved for those who cannot.

I only want a prescription because otherwise I can't have the drugs. Presumably because there are international drug rings converting salbutamol into heroin.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
>>Meh, I can afford to pay for my drugs.

And you do, through general taxation.

90% of prescriptions are free due to exemptions, and most prescribed items are less than the £9 charge.

Makes about as much fiscal sense as student loans where something like 50% never get paid back... who pays to write them off (plus accrued interest)?
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
>> most prescribed items are less than the £9 charge.

I realise you'd know better than I, but at retail I'm surprised. A salbutamol inhaler here costs about £3.00 and is OTC medicine. But most stuff is in the £20 - £40 price range with some stuff considerably more.

Cancer patients here, even those with standard insurance, are frequently in real trouble and end up bankrupt. Literally, house, car, everything gone just to pay for cancer drugs. Or drugs for any long term condition for that matter.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
>> I realise you'd know better than I, but at retail I'm surprised

Drugs within patent period will typically cost more (though still much less than the US for example)

Outside patent most drugs have generic equivalents and the prices drop dramatically.

Inhalers interestingly are relatively expensive especially combination ones like your Duomax - about £28 per inhaler.

Your Montelukast tablets on the other hand are about £1.50 for 28.
Last edited by: Lygonos on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 03:01
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
>>Inhalers interestingly are relatively expensive especially combination ones like your Duomax - about £28 per inhaler.

Double that here.

>>Your Montelukast tablets on the other hand are about £1.50 for 28.

£48 ish.

And the Symbicort were £95 each, which considering they last for about 2 weeks is a lot.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 03:02
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
Presumably this is why the US want trade deals including the NHS - the NHS currently gets some pretty sweet deals from drug companies due to being a massive buyer.

2 Epipens (for anaphylaxis) cost about £80 - in the US they are well over £400 per pair.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Fullchat
If you are concerned about the impact of your UK prescription on the NHS is it not possible to obtain a Private Prescription?
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos

>>If you are concerned about the impact of your UK prescription on the NHS is it not possible to obtain a Private Prescription?

I guess you could but you'd also have to pay the pharmacist's fat mark-up.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
>> If you are concerned about the impact of your UK prescription on the NHS is
>> it not possible to obtain a Private Prescription?

I'm not. But neither do I see the need to deliberately register somewhere simply to avoid prescription charges.

I've certainly no wish to give a pharmacy extra markup.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Fullchat
The reason I suggested it was that I have a Dr friend. A few years ago on, literally hours before a European motorcycle trip I had a gum flareup around a dodgy tooth which was causing pain.
He took some advice from a Dental Surgeon friend and issued me a private prescription for some antibiotics. I didn't notice they were overly expensive compared to a normal prescription charge for 1 item. But there again you would do almost anything to get rid of toothace.

And they did the trick :)
Last edited by: Fullchat on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 14:17
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
Why did he give you a private prescription? Are they for things the NHS doesn't cover?
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Fullchat
I'm not sure quite how it works. The 'prescription' he issued was for prescription items, nothing out of the ordinary but I couldnt have bought them over the counter. He's doesn't have a prescription pad as such but is able to compose a letter with some sort of Drs registration number (is it a GMC number??) which authorises a pharmacist to dispense prescription items. I'm presuming the pharmacist has a database to they can check the authenticity and qualification of the Dr.

Maybe Lygonos can enlighten us as to how it works.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 15:16
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Bromptonaut
>> I'm not sure quite how it works. The 'prescription' he issued was for prescription items,
>> nothing out of the ordinary but I couldnt have bought them over the counter. He's
>> doesn't have a prescription pad as such but is able to compose a letter with
>> some sort of Drs registration number (is it a GMC number??) which authorises a pharmacist
>> to dispense prescription items. I'm presuming the pharmacist has a database to they can check
>> the authenticity and qualification of the Dr.

In 2014 we did back up for Miss B's boyfriend (now husband) and his Dad on first week a JoGLE ride - from JoG to Carlisle. Dad is a GP. When the son's knee played up after a few days his father was able to obtain some prescription only stuff. As above it involved his ID and GMC etc number which pharmacist was able to verify.

I don't know if the pharmacist used a professional portal or just facility on GMC website.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos

>> Maybe Lygonos can enlighten us as to how it works.

GMC number is not required but name and address is:

"A private prescription can be issued on any piece of paper except in the case of controlled drugs. It must be signed in ink and written so as to be indelible, and must include the address of the prescriber, the date of prescription issue or the date after which it may be dispensed, the prescriber’s professional group (doctor, pharmacist, etc), the name and address of the patient (and age if under 12 years)."

Have a read if you're interested...….

www.allysonpollock.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Prescriber_2015_Steele_PrivatePrescribing.pdf
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
>> but usually best not to mess with a stable asthmatics inhalers!

You'd think so, but you'd be amazed how often I come across some newly qualified little oik who thinks he knows more about asthma than either I or more experienced doctors do.

More than one loud discussion has occurred over the years.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - Lygonos
>>More than one loud and rather wheezy discussion has occurred over the years.

Asthma kills around 1,500 people annually in the UK - often because patients or doctors don't take it seriously enough.

I frequently verbalise this to patients both to chastise them for being fannies, and to ensure they know it is always ok to contact us if they are concerned about their breathing.
 Prescription drugs in the UK - No FM2R
A&E in the UK is typically superb. Walk in, say you're an asthmatic with breathing difficulties and your feet don't touch the ground.

.*******

Well, perhaps a doctor who doesn't listen to his experienced asthmatic patient is just as annoying.

EDIT: Oh that's 'kin annoying; Something about idiot patients who don't look after their own asthma blah blah blah.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Fri 13 Dec 19 at 03:00
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