According to a letter printed in a Romford free paper, there will be new dispensing regulations from January 2010. Pharmacies, will apparently, be expected to replace a brand drug named on a prescription with one that is cheaper.
According to that correspondent, this is part of the Department of Health's 2009 pharmaceutical regulations scheme agreement.
Again. quoting from this letter, pharmacists will not have to consult the patient or the doctor who wrote the prescription. This, the NHS estimate will save £40m a year.
The correspondent goes on to outline the fact that there are many people for example, who suffer from serious heart conditions and who rely upon their prescribed drug to provide them with some quality of life. Without that drug, their condition would deteriorate.
The correspondent goes on:-"If a pharmacist decides on his own volition to change the prescription drug to one that is cheaper, how will he/she know whether or not it could create serious side effects that could prove detrimental to the patient's well being?"
The writer goes on to state that it is the doctor who should specify the patient's medication, not a pharmacist or a government economist. The government should think again.
We think most pensioners would be most grateful for the report above and agree entirely with the correspondent's fears.
Once again, we are faced with a Government apparently willing to save costs at the likely expense of the patient. This is a feature found in privatization schemes where costs become paramount above the safety and health of the patient.
We thank Mr. Cyril North most sincerely for voicing his very appropriate concerns.
This is a matter of which Pensioners should be made fully aware. The fact that a pensioner's health could be gambled with in this way must be fully recognised and challenged at all levels. A Pensioner's health is more delicate than that of a younger person and is much more vulnerable to change and therefore must not be placed at risk just because the Government wish to cut a few corners. Let the savings be applied elsewhere.
While on the subject of Prescriptions, pensioners may have found that their pharmacist appears to change the manufacturer of their regular pills. For instance blood pressure pills may be provided and coloured pink but the next month's prescription may contain pills of a different colour and size. This happens to the Writer quite often.
We feel that this is a bad practice since some elderly folk are often susceptible to change and become confused by seeing a tablet of a different colour or size.
We believe this practice stems from the fact that the chemist may have different arrangements with different suppliers.
So it is a good idea for patients to watch carefully the boxes and medications they receive from the chemists, and carers should also be wary on their charge's behalf and ensure that the same type of pill and dosage is being proffered.